One notable beneficiary of the bill signing is Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA), which rose about 7.5% on Friday and is up another 13% so far today. Zynga’s for-fun casino games attract millions of daily users at Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB). Other firms that have put a stake in the ground on online gambling, including International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT), Bally Technologies Inc. (NYSE: BYI), Boyd Gaming Corp. (NYSE: BYD), WMS Industries Inc. (NYSE: WMS) and Shuffle Master Inc. (NASDAQ: SHFL), are missing today’s run-up so far. Bally, IGT and Shuffle Master already have received licenses to operate online gambling in Nevada and Zynga applied for a license in February.
Ceasars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) is up about 4% so far today, likely on the strength of its “World Series of Poker” brand. The casino operator and MGM Resorts International Inc. (NYSE: MGM) have already applied for online gaming licenses in Nevada. IGT acquired game developer Double Down Interactive in January of 2012, and Boyd has invested in another game maker, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.
Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (NASDAQ: MPEL) has paired up with Poker Stars to open a live poker room in Melco’s City of Dreams casino in Macau. Extending that relationship to an online venture in the U.S. would not be a big stretch.
Zynga sucks most of the air out of any move that appears to extend real-money gambling to the Internet in the United States. But there are other ponies in the race too.