Rumors had been flying for nearly a year about social game developer Zynga entering the real-money gambling arena but now those rumors are fact.
Zynga has announced a partnership with bwin.party that will see Zynga offering online poker for real money to its players in the UK by early 2013.
Zynga will operate as a "skin" of PartyPoker, offering its own unique branded poker site but using PartyPoker software to power it, with the player pool shared. Other PartyPoker skins include WPTPoker and EmpirePoker.
Zynga also announced it plans to launch real-money casino games and a slots game branded by FarmVille but at present has no firm plans or partners lined up.
The gambling world had been expecting the move for some time. Zynga is under pressure from shareholders to make a move after its stock price cratered since its IPO in 2011.
Zynga's recent quarterly earnings showed some stabilization in its operations but was also accompanied by layoffs in several offices. More cuts are likely in the future.
While Zynga was rumored to be in the bidding for the assets of Full Tilt and as a suitor for Ongame Network, the partnership with bwin.party was seen by many as a more logical choice.
It frees Zynga from having to deal with software development and accelerates its move to real-money poker.
Now Zynga can piggyback on the player base at PartyPoker and quickly begin generating revenues from cash games and tournaments.
Social gaming rival Facebook has dipped its own toes into the real-money gambling market. It inked its own partnership with Gamesys to offer real-money bingo games to customers in the UK.