Facebook gaming giant Zynga moved one step closer to offering legitimate poker games by opening a tender for a real-money poker platform.
According to a story with eGaming Review, noted software companies GTECH G2 and Playtech submitted bids to supply the platform.
Playtech is well known in the industry for providing software for iPoker network, which includes Titan Poker and William Hill Poker while GTECH G2 is responsible for International Poker Network behind Yahoo! UK, Sporting Bet and Bet-at-Home.
The news is surprising considering earlier this year Zynga moved to acquire Swedish Poker Network Ongame. It’s unclear how the tender offects the acquisition of Ongame.
Although Zynga Poker does not currently offer for-money games, it is the most-played online poker game in the world with hundreds of thousands of daily users.
Earlier this year Zynga CEO Mark Pincus described real-money gambling as a “natural fit” with virtual goods and social games at a conference earlier this year.
Zynga has also been in talks with the Wynn in Las Vegas to potentially partner with the brick and mortar casino in the future.
Even without real-money games Zynga dominates the mobile space and the company claims that Zynga Poker is the highest grossing game on Android or iOS platforms.
Millionaire tech investor Jason Calacanis, who played at the 2012 WSOP in Las Vegas this summer, is convinced that Zynga is the heir-apparent to the online poker throne.
“I would predict Zynga becomes the number one player in online poker,” he said. “It will be a race between Zynga and Pokerstars.”