ChiliGaming to Take on Zynga Poker with Free-Play Network ChiliGaming to Take on Zynga Poker with Free-Play Network

With an eye towards the US market, ChiliGaming announced this week a new free-to-play online poker network that will launch across multiple devices and social media platforms. The “virtual-currency” network, which is being dubbed “non-gambling,” will roll-out in the first week of October.

ChiliGaming, the French-based iGaming collective, operates the real-money ChiliPoker room on the iPoker Network – including an ARJEL-licensed French operation on – along with online sportsbook, bingo and casino products.

The new ChiliPlay platform includes Android, iPhone and iPad applications, browser-based flash client, a multi-platform Adobe AIR download and Facebook apps integration. Hold’em, both limit and no-limit, and PLO can be played across cash games, multi-table tournaments and SNGs. Bingo is also built-in to the ChiliPlay platform.

Although not officially launched, Android and Facebook applications are already active, and the browser-based and download versions are available on the still-in-development The site already boasts over 100k active monthly users and 500+ are playing at any one time on the network, prior to a complete launch.

The audacious move is a direct strike at the incumbent behemoth of Zynga Poker, which boasts a staggering 36m active monthly users across its multi-platform social media poker network. On Zynga Poker, as on ChiliPlay, all action is for play money only, with no legitimate means of “cashing in” the chips. However, Zynga allows players to either pay real money, or complete promotional offers, to gain additional chips.

ChiliGaming is pursuing a similar business model. Already “chiliZ” – the in-game poker chips on ChiliPlay – can be purchased for credits on Facebook. ChiliGaming CEO Alexandre Dreyfus confirmed with pokerfuse that it would also be perusing the “special offers” monetization strategy.