Zynga's stock is on the rise, an upward trend likely tied to the possibility of a bill in New Jersey that would legalize online gambling.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the existing bill on Thursday, but left open a chance for an amended version of the bill to pass in the future, Reuters reported.
Zynga shares began trading on Friday, Feb. 8, at $3.09 and had jumped to $3.43 — an 11 percent increase to its highest price since last July — by the end of the day. The price currently sits at a high point of $3.59.
The New Jersey bill would allow casinos in Atlantic City, the state's oceanfront gambling hub, to offer online gambling. It would also open up opportunities for European companies that deal in online casino games. Last October, Zynga announced an agreement with one such company, bwin.party, to begin offering real-money online games in the U.K.; chief financial officer David Wehner called it "a first step into real money gambling."
In December, Zynga continued its efforts to enter the real-money gaming market by applying for a gambling license in Nevada. At the time, chief revenue officer Barry Cottle acknowledged "the broader U.S. market is an opportunity that's further out on the horizon based on legislative developments." Companies interested in online gambling in the U.S., including Zynga, hope the passage of a bill in New Jersey will open the door for more states to legalize the practice.
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