PopCap enters gambling sector

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EA subsidiary PopCap is to dip its toes in the gambling waters with the release of its fourth Facebook game – Lucky Gem Casino.

As the name and platform would suggest, the title will allow players to gamble with virtual currency. It will include a total of seven mini-games.

It will also sport the likenesses of cartoon characters featured in the developer's other titles such as Bejeweled and Zuma – a move it no doubt hopes will distance it from the stereotypical gambling audience.

In an effort to dodge strict US online gambling laws, the game will only allow the gambling of Facebook Credits. These, of course, cost real cash to buy but cannot be redeemed in exchange for a cash return.

The move comes ahead of rival Zynga's upcoming foray into the sector via the Zynga Casino franchise.