This is the biggest step Zynga’s taken toward bringing real-money versions of its games to the U.S., where gambling regulations vary by state. But Zynga’s already taken steps in the U.K., where in October it partnered with bwin.party, the giant real-money gaming operator. Through that partnership, Zynga says it plans to launch real-money poker and casino games in the U.K. in 2013.
An important detail: where Zynga goes sniffing for cash, Facebook will very likely follow. When the two companies amended their contract last week, one of the new stipulations stated that as Zynga offers real-money games in countries where they’re legal, it has to make those games available on Facebook.