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Zynga launches first real money games in the UK tomorrow

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Zynga rolls out real money gaming in the U.K.

Social game developer Zynga will launch its first real money games in the U.K. tomorrow, the company announced on its blog today.

Starting tomorrow, players over the age of 18 in the U.K. will be able to play ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino — two games powered by a real money gambling operator Zynga has partnered with, bwin.party.

The games will launch with free versions, and players will be able to buy into tournaments at each level using real cash. In ZyngaPlusPoker, players will be able to join online poker rooms that offer U.K. players a variety of tournaments with buy-ins. In ZyngaPlusCasino, players will be able to play with more than 160 slots games, as well as Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat and Video Poker.

The games will be accessible via the web and through downloable versions, but players will be able to use the same "wallet" for both versions of the games.

Zynga told Polygon that one of the key differences between the company's real money games and its social casino games is real money games allow players to win real money, so it's a system of "money in and money out." The games themselves are similar to existing Zynga casino games, but they come with the additional thrill of being able to win money. According to Zynga, it's this thrill that draws players to real money games, but the company is also serious about responsible gaming and has implemented measures to ensure players don't go overboard. The company told Polygon it has implemented stringent policies to monitor addictive gambling, and those who play for too long may have their accounts blocked.

Zynga's chief revenue officer, Barry Cottle said on Zynga's blog that it's the company's long-term vision to "offer our players the next generation of real money games on multiple platforms in regulated markets worldwide.

"We take responsible gaming seriously and are proud to partner with bwin.party, an industry leader and a reputable company that is fully licensed by a premier regulatory authority."

To play Zynga's real money games, U.K. residents can access them from tomorrow via ZyngaPlusPoker.co.uk and ZyngaPlusCasino.co.uk. The studio expressed plans to eventually roll real money games to Facebook and mobile platforms in the U.K. in 2013.