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Australian Sports Betting Company PlayUp Entering New Jersey Market

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • Australia’s PlayUp Sportsbook has announced market access in New Jersey
  • Late last year PlayUp announced that they’ve raised $25 million to position the company for US expansion.
  • PlayUp is now licensed in New Jersey and Colorado and is licensed for parimutuel horse wagering in North Dakota.
  • PlayUp has 300,000 sports betting clients in Australia.

It was late July 2020 when Australian sports betting company PlayUp announced a partnership with the Bull Durham Casino in Black Hawk for Colorado market access rights. The original plan was to launch before the end of 2020 which obviously won’t happen. The newly revised launch is expected in Q1 2020 both in Colorado and in PlayUp’s newest market of New Jersey. Earlier today, PlayUp announced a market access agreement with the Freehold Raceway harness track.

The ownership structure of Freehold is pretty complex–the market access deal itself is signed FR Park Racing, LP (FRP) which is the sports wagering certificate holder and operator of the Freehold Racetrack. FRP is owned by Pennwood Racing, Inc. (Pennwood), and the ultimate 50/50 partners of Pennwood are Greenwood Racing Inc, Penn National Gaming, Inc. and Parx Casino. Got all that?

Although PlayUp has yet to go live in the US they’re a very intriguing company that could make a lot of noise in the market. Their US CEO is Dr. Laila Mintas, considered one of the rising stars in the international gaming industry. Having a female CEO is still something of a novelty for a sports betting company but Dr. Mintas is an extremely impressive individual who should become a fixture in the business media. All in all, a great representative for the nascent US sports betting industry as it continues to assimilate with the mainstream media ecosystem.

We’ll start the quotes with PlayUp USA CEO Dr. Laila Mintas:

“We are very excited about the partnership with two excellent brands – Parx Casino and Penn National. We are looking forward to establishing PlayUp as a strong and innovative sports betting brand in the U.S. We are working to launch in New Jersey in the first quarter of this year”.

Global PlayUp CEO Daniel Simic was the next to weigh in:

“This is great news and another positive result for our business. We are building strong foundations of technology, systems and partnerships which will enable us to pursue our plans for rapid growth. We look forward to continuing to leverage our industry knowledge and innovative thinking to offer our clients the best possible betting experience in Australia and the US.”

Matthew Cullen, Parx Senior VP of Interactive Gaming and Sports gave the response from the Freehold Raceway side:

“Parx Casino is happy to partner with PlayUp in New Jersey as they debut their international expertise of online sports betting in the United States.”

In the press release blurb about their company, PlayUp indicated that their launch into ‘multiple states’ was ‘imminent’. Points for referring to the US online sports betting market as ‘nascent’. One of my favorite words…

We hold betting licences in multiple jurisdictions and currently operate in Australia, New Zealand, India and the US. Our biggest market is Australia, where we are the largest and most recognised DFS provider in the country and one of the fastest growing fixed-odds providers. In the USA, we have secured licensing and access to the nascent online sports betting market with imminent launch into multiple states.

From the state by state perspective, 2021 is beginning just like 2020 ended–with New Jersey and Colorado running away from the pack in terms of the quality and variety of offerings for sports bettors. Iowa, Indiana, Michigan and Nevada are just off the pace with Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Illinois fading due to their burdensome tax rates and licensing fees. Every other state is being left in the dust. Tennessee has broken down and will have to be ‘vanned off’.

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