Zynga Inc (ZNGA) Shares Jump On Possible Online Gambling Legalization

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Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) shares jumped 9 percent Monday afternoon as speculation about the legalization of online gaming in New Jersey circled the markets. The company has already taken steps to move into online gambling. It filed an application for a gambling license in Nevada in December.

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Last week New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would legalize online gambling, but he did ask the legislature to make amendments to the bill, which he said would then be signed into law. Reuters reports that the bill paves the way for European online gambling companies to take a step into the U.S. It could also lead other states to legalize online gambling.

Shares of Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) have risen steadily since the beginning of the month. Some reports have indicated that if Zynga can gain a foothold in the online gambling industry, it could see an increase of $200 million in annual revenues. Last week we reported that some of Zynga’s top executives had recently left to begin their own gaming company.

Today shares of Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) are at the highest level they have been in six months. Howeve,r the stock still has a long way to go if it’s going to come anywhere near the roughly $15 per share it traded at in early 2012.

The stocks of some of New Jersey’s casinos are also seeing some action today. Caesars Entertainment Corp (NASDAQ:CZR) fell 7 percent in afternoon trading, although it still wasn’t enough to erase the significant gains it made late last week on the news that New Jersey lawmakers could be changing gambling laws in the state. Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD) shares fell 2.5 percent.

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