- Australia’s PlayUp Sportsbook has announced they’ve raised $25 million to position the company for US expansion.
- PlayUp is already 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.
Colorado continues to serve as the blueprint for the rest of the US sports betting industry. Maybe some of the newcomer states will eventually wise up and emulate what they’re doing in the Rocky Mountains to make their state an epicenter of the sports betting industry. Currently, Colorado has 16 online sportsbooks available with more on the way. They’ve also got 11 retail sportsbooks–impressive since the state launched sports betting at the nadir of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. The sky is the limit for Colorado sports betting not only in terms of the number of ‘outs’ and revenue generation but for positive impact on the broader economy.
There’s plenty to like about Colorado sports betting but right at the top of the list is the wide variety of sportsbooks they’ve attracted. You’ve got the big US post PASPA players like DraftKings and FanDuel, big Nevada sportsbooks like BetMGM, William Hill, Circa Sports and Superbook, European entrants like Smarkets, Carousel Group and BetFred, and interesting ‘wild cards’ like Iowa’s Elite Gaming, Canada’s theScore. There’s a couple of Colorado casinos running their books ‘in house’ (BetWildwood, BetMonarch) and even a native American gaming property that has embraced sports betting (SkyUte Casino). Several other big companies are ‘waiting in the wings’ including Wynn Sports and PointsBet both expected to launch later this month.
One of the most intriguing entrants in the Colorado market is another Australian sportsbook that has targeted the state for their first entree into the US. PlayUp has established itself as a big daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sports betting presence in Australia and boasts over 300,000 regsitered clients and $270m AUD in annual turnover. They’ve already secured market access in Colorado partnering with Black Hawk’s Bull Durham Casino.
They’re also indicating that they’ve secured market access in New Jersey and are licensed for parimutuel horse wagering in North Dakota. Note that a couple of tribal properties in North Dakota are already preparing to offer sports betting and with South Dakota voters approving a referendum on Tuesday there could be pressure for the state’s government to allow it statewide. A couple of North Dakota casinos run by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians have already secured gaming giant IGT to power the tech infrastructure so they’re pretty serious about this.
To help bankroll their US expansion PlayUp has just announced a $25 million capital raise through a ‘non-renouncable entitlement offer‘. Daniel Simic, PlayUp CEO had this to say about the capital raise:
“The oversubscription of our $25 Million raise reflects the enormous potential of PlayUp. It is an endorsement of our team, our technology and our vision.”
“Since developing Australia’s first pay-to-play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform in 2015, PlayUp has become the number one Australian DFS provider by all metrics. Our online betting footprint has also grown rapidly with the acquisition and consolidation of several tier two Australian wagering brands. We now have over 300,000 registered clients and generating in excess of AUD$270m in turnover annually.”
“This raise allows us to build on an already established footprint. We have access in 2 states of America, we have a veteran CEO with enormous experience and we have plans in place to make significant progress in the rapidly growing US market.”
“Our investors are incredibly supportive and importantly, they are endorsing our vision with their money and bring significant international business networks that allow us to deliver on our business goals.”
The CEO in question is Dr. Laila Mintas who is a rising star in the US gaming industry. She’s a lawyer by training but has served in a number of roles in the gaming industry including oversight of all US operations at sports data powerhouse Sportradar. She’s the perfect choice to run the expansion into the US market and had these thoughts about PlayUp’s progress:
“We have made great progress in the US, the market is being legalised state by state and PlayUp will be one of the first movers making sure we secure market access rights from the beginning. Through our strong presence and dynamic products, we will shape the future of this market. The raise allows PlayUp US to rapidly progress our business.”
PlayUp initially indicated that they wanted to release their app in Colorado by NFL season which obviously didn’t happen. There’s no updated timeline but they should go live in the Centennial State by the end of 2020. PlayUp has also established a US office in Las Vegas. The gaming friendly environment and lifestyle advantages of Southern Nevada has helped the area attract a number of corporate newcomers to the area despite the fact that the state’s sports betting ecosystem remains stagnant and ossified.