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Zynga's Online Gambling Plans Ready to Blossom

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Zynga's (ZNGA - Get Report) management needs to expand aggressively and strategically into real-money gambling now, or explain why they shouldn't be replaced by a team that can.

Zynga is best known for FarmVille and other -Ville games, but if you point your browser to its online poker destination, you'll find where the company is able to generate the profits shareholders want. If you don't think actual, real-money gambling is an essential component to the company's future, you're not paying attention.

ZNGA Chart

Zynga is licensed in the UK for real-money gambling, and according to the company's latest annual filing, Zynga Poker is the largest free-to-play online poker game in the world. In 2013, Zynga Poker was the top performer by revenue, generating 21% of total online game revenue. That's up from 19% in 2012.

The next best game was FarmVille 2 at 17%, which means Zynga Poker accounts for almost 25% more revenue than FarmVille 2. Zynga also generates revenue through advertising sales, but 2013 witnessed a decline of over $23 million compared to 2012.

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