PlayUp Finally Takes Colorado Sports Betting Site Offline

PlayUp Finally Takes Colorado Sports Betting Site Offline
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

PlayUp’s Colorado sports betting app finally went offline on Thursday, one week after the Australian-based operator requested permission from state regulators to take the site down.

In a statement on the app and the website’s home page, PlayUp said it’s planning upgrades for its site.

“In our relentless pursuit of enhancing and improving our services, the difficult decision to pause our operations temporarily has been made,” the statement read in part.

PlayUp Global CEO Daniel Simic told BetColorado.com last week he sought to suspend operations in the state. On Tuesday, a Colorado Division of Gaming spokesperson told BetColorado.com that the company’s request was still “in process” and regulators were communicating with the operator.

However, PlayUp’s request to Colorado last week came one day after New Jersey regulators revoked PlayUp’s licenses after failing to produce financial documents officials there requested.

New Jersey officials also noted that the operator has outstanding invoices to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, reduced its staffing in the state by a significant amount and failed to inform the division about a fraud charge for a customer it said it was reviewing.

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PlayUp Says Customers Can Stick Around

Last week, Colorado division spokesperson Dan Carr told BetColorado.com that players were “encouraged” to withdraw their funds once PlayUp entered “maintenance mode.”

However, PlayUp, in its statement, let customers know they could stick around if they so choose.

“We will no longer accept new deposits and wagers on our current platform,” the statement read. “However, we want to assure you that any pending wagers will be honored. During this time you will be able to access your account and withdraw funds, should you wish to do so.”

With PlayUp offline, the number of licensed Colorado sports betting operators is down to 20, according to the division’s roster. In May, there were 24 operators on that list.

A Brief History of PlayUp’s U.S. Operations

The New Jersey license revocation and Colorado suspension were the latest in the ongoing drama surrounding the beleaguered company.

Sources told BetColorado.com that PlayUp had failed to pay employees for weeks before several were let go. Some were reportedly offered equity if they elected to stay.

Simic last week, before news of the New Jersey revocation broke, said that PlayUp was in the middle of restructuring and “on the verge of a transaction” but provided no further details.

PlayUp had been pursuing a sale for nearly two years, and in late 2021, it saw a potential $450 million sale to FTX – the crypto exchange that has filed for bankruptcy protection – fall apart. That led to the company firing Dr. Laila Mintas as its U.S. CEO and suing her. Mintas later filed a countersuit.

FTX eventually agreed to invest $35 million in the company in January 2022. PlayUp also sought a merger with a special-purchase acquisition company last year, but that $350 million transaction also was not consummated.

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Author

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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