PlayUp Takes Steps Toward US Online Casino Launch

For US online casino gamblers who’ve wondered what happened to Australian online betting platform provider PlayUp, New Jersey regulators have an answer. The Colorado and New Jersey online sportsbook operator is slowly progressing through the online casino approval process.

An Aug. 3 document from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) shows PlayUp has a 6-month-long approval window for “authorization to conduct internet gaming-related business transactions” with Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Caesars Interactive Entertainment.

That Aug. 3 transactional waiver DGE Director David Rebuck signed relates back to one “previously filed with the division” on Jan. 25, 2021.

In June 2021, PlayUp originally announced it would soon make its US iGaming debut in New Jersey via a Caesars market access agreement. Then PlayUp would launch “on a state by state basis, throughout the USA.”

Harrah’s is one of Caesars’ Atlantic City retail casinos.

The DGE site today lists seven New Jersey online casino operators already on the Caesars license:

Other than 888 and WynnBet, those are Caesars brands.

PlayUp Isn’t Launching Online Casino Yet

The Aug. 3 DGE letter spells out that PlayUp can only progress through the initial phases of its New Jersey online casino plan.

DGE writes:

This approval is for the narrow scope of approving only Section 6.1, Section 6.2, and Section 6.3 of the Agreement. For the avoidance of doubt, this transactional waiver does not allow the parties to go live at this time with their internet gaming platform. The parties require additional technical and licensing approval to effectuate any other portion of the Agreement.

Why the Delay?

While DGE online casino regulatory approvals aren’t overnight miracles, they don’t tend to take nearly two years to complete.

A likely reason for the delay is the lengthy, complicated legal battle that began in November 2021.

At that time, PlayUp leaders sued former PlayUp USA CEO Laila Mintas in the US District Court for the District of Nevada. She’s since made counterclaims. The matter continues.

Also, the Sydney-based company announced in July 2022 that PlayUp may soon be for sale.

Meanwhile, DGE records show that the division authorized soft launches for three online sportsbooks, to begin on Aug. 15 and last five days:

  • Fubo Sportsbook (on the Harrah’s license)
  • Prophet Exchange (via Harrah’s)
  • Sporttrade (through Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino)

Soft launches test out sites before the DGE allows full debuts. Fubo and Prophet are listed today as operating sports wagering sites.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is the lead writer at NJ Gambling Sites, concentrating on online casino coverage. In March 2021, Fletcher began writing about online casino gambling as the lead writer for Online Poker Report. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University, as well as a master's degree in journalism from New York University, and has now shifted to NJ Gambling Sites to lend her expertise.