Glu Mobile launches real-money gambling, shares soar

(Reuters) - Mobile games maker Glu Mobile Inc launched its first real-money mobile gambling game through UK mobile betting game designer and operator Probability Plc, sending the U.S. company’s shares up as much as 27 percent.

Online gambling is growing in popularity in the UK. Zynga Inc and Facebook Inc are also looking to tap the market through partnerships.

Zynga plans to offer real money casino games in Britain, and Facebook has said it will allow users in the UK to wager real money on its site.

Online gaming is also gaining momentum in the United States, with New Jersey legalizing online gambling for residents and Nevada legalizing interstate online poker and allowing state-to-state gaming agreements.

Glu, known for its free iOS and Android apps such as Mutant Roadkill and Deer Hunter, said its branded casino games would be offered in the UK through Probability and its partners such as bookmakers Paddy Power Plc and William Hill Plc.

Glu entered into a partnership with Probability in October to create a suite of Glu-branded mobile slot games.

Glu shares were up 20 percent at $2.91 in late morning trade on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila