Colorado gaming officials received a request Thursday from PlayUp Sportsbook to take its app offline.
Dan Carr, the public information officer and director of communications for the Colorado Department of Revenue, confirmed early Thursday evening that PlayUp contacted the department’s Division of Gaming and sought to go into “maintenance mode.” That would suspend wagering and customer-funded deposits on the app.
PlayUp Global CEO Daniel Simic told BetColorado earlier Thursday it would make the request for its Colorado sports betting app, one day after the Australian-based company’s app went down in New Jersey.
Simic told BetColorado the New Jersey shutdown would allow the company to restructure and resize, promising to be “back with a new look and feel, platform and strategy.”
Officials with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement actually shut PlayUp down Wednesday, revoking its license in the state after Simic and other company officials failed to hand over key financial documents as part of an inquiry by the regulatory body. DGE officials also found it had outstanding invoices to the state and “significantly reduced” its workforce in the state, with several key personnel roles no longer filled.
In his statement to BetColorado, Carr provided more information about what happens to Colorado sportsbook apps that go into maintenance mode. PlayUp would not be allowed to process bets moving forward. However, he added players have the ability “and are encouraged to” make withdrawals.
“The Division of Gaming will continue to work with PlayUp throughout this process to ensure compliance and for the protection of the Colorado citizens that utilized their sportsbook,” he said.
As of 8 pm MT Thursday, PlayUp’s Colorado app remained up, with betting markets still available.
Simic, in a statement earlier in the day, promised PlayUp had funds to cover customer accounts. He promised to provide a more thorough response by late Thursday (Friday morning in Australia), but he had yet to provide that by Friday morning in the U.S.
Sources told BetColorado that PlayUp faced numerous issues. Several employees were let go late last month after the company had not paid them, and some have not received a check in more than a month.
Employees weren’t the only ones waiting to be paid. Sources claimed customers were waiting on withdrawals totaling around $175,000 to be processed. It’s uncertain how much of that, if any, was owed to bettors in Colorado.
Colorado Sports Betting Market Contracting
While it’s possible PlayUp could return — Simic said the company was on the “verge of a transaction” before the New Jersey announcement — it seems more likely the company will have taken its last bet in Colorado once it enters maintenance mode.
If that’s the case, PlayUp would not be the first operator to close in Colorado. MaximBet took down its Colorado online sportsbooks app in November 2022, and in the last few weeks, Maverick Gaming and Sky Ute announced their closures.
Sportsbooks departing from the Colorado market should not be considered a major surprise or even an indication of market weakness in the state. Despite not having the population like New York or Pennsylvania, Colorado has 20 online operators, not including PlayUp, active in the state, making it one of the most diverse operationally in the U.S.