Zynga hires former exec from gambling portal to be COO

The former Senior Vice President of online gambling portal 888 is joining Zynga as the social gaming company's new Chief Operating Officer of New Markets.

The former Senior Vice President of online gambling portal 888 is joining Zynga as the social gaming company's new Chief Operating Officer of New Markets.

Maytal Ginzburg Olsha is joining Zynga after more than five years with 888 where she was responsible for acquiring new customers and other operations. 888 operates an online portal that offers real-money games in markets where online gambling is regulated. Games offered include bingo, poker, and sports betting.

Ginzburg Olsha's hiring marks another move by Zynga towards having real-money games. Back in July, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus announced that the company planned to launch its first real-money products in 2013, subject to regulatory approval.

At the time, he said: "We are developing a new growth opportunity in real-money gambling to build on our strong casino presence with Zynga Poker – the world's largest free play poker game – and our hit bingo and slots games."

Earlier in the month, public documents revealed that Zynga spent some $75,000 on lobbying fees over a bill that would allow companies to offer online poker in certain states.

Zynga currently has a casino range of games that include Zynga Poker and Bingo, however players cannot gamble with real money in those games.

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