Sports Betting

PlayUp Raises $25 Million, Targeting US Sports Wagering Market

Australian gaming company PlayUp said it raised $25 million in an equity offering. These proceeds will be used for the operator’s US expansion plans.

PlayUp CEO Daniel Simic seen here in 2019. The Aussie company raised $25 million for US expansion efforts. (Image: Medium)

The developer of Australia’s first daily fantasy sports (DFS) platform, Sydney-based PlayUp said the capital raise was over-subscribed. That means demand was robust and that it attracted investors from within its home country and abroad. Now the largest DFS provider in the Land Down Under, PlayUp is aiming for growth in the sports wagering arena.

Our online betting footprint has also grown rapidly with the acquisition and consolidation of several tier two Australian wagering brands,” said CEO Daniel Simic in a statement. “We now have over 300,000 registered clients and are generating in excess of AUD$270 million ($189.8 million) in turnover annually.”

In addition to Australia, the operator holds betting licenses in India, New Zealand, and the US.

All About America

For upstart PlayUp, the capital raise is largely about boosting its profile in the US, which is the world’s fastest-growing sports wagering.

In the states, the operator has market access in Colorado and New Jersey, the latter the largest state in terms of monthly sports wagering handle. The company also has a pari-mutuel license authorized by the North Dakota Racing Commission.

PlayUp “has demonstrated its ability to win competitive commercial partnerships, as it continues its quest to acquire more online Sports Betting licenses across the USA,” according to the company.

In July, the operator hired Laila Mintas to head up its US operations. Prior to joining the Australian company, Mintas was deputy president of sports data at analytics provider Sportradar.

In Colorado, which is one of the fastest-growing sports wagering markets in the US, PlayUp partnered with the Bull Durham Casino in Black Hawk. The operator has market access in New Jersey, though it’s not live there yet, and Illinois is expected to follow on the company’s US roster.

High Margin Operation

In its home market, PlayUp has over 300,000 clients, many of whom are large bettors, a clientele the company believes it can attract here in the US. The operator estimates that US sports wagering will eventually be worth $17 billion, which is among the more conservative estimates bandied about this year.

Speaking of replication, PlayUp is an online only operator in the markets in which it currently does business. It’s a model it intends to deploy in the US, meaning it won’t run brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. By cutting out the retail footprint, gaming companies reduce fixed costs and boost margins.

Plenty of international companies are contenders in the US sports wagering market, including Australia’s PointsBet. That firm offers sports betting in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey.

Todd Shriber

Gaming Financials, Casino Business----Todd Shriber got his start in financial markets as a reporter with Bloomberg News. Later, he became a trader at a Southern California-based long/short hedge fund, where he specialized in trading sector and international ETFs leading up to and during the financial crisis. Currently, he analyzes, researches, and writes on ETFs for a variety of Web-based publications and financial services firms. Shriber has been quoted in Barron's, CNBC.com, and The Wall Street Journal. His work has been published on sites such as Benzinga, ETF Daily News, ETF Trends, MarketWatch, Fox Business, and Nasdaq.com. He joined the Casino.org news writing team in 2019, and lives in Southern California, where he enjoys golf and taking his black lab to the dog park. When in Las Vegas, he likes to wager on college football, the NBA, three-card poker, and roulette, even though he knows better. Email: todd.shriber@casino.org

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Todd Shriber