PlayUp sportsbook will make its US debut in Colorado with the hopes of launching for the NFL season, newly appointed US CEO Laila Mintas told LSR.
The Australian sports betting, fantasy sports, and fixed-odds horse racing operator announced its US intentions earlier this month. Colorado is just one of multiple states where PlayUp already secured market access and plans to enter online sports betting.
PlayUp, which has a proprietary trading platform and risk management team, signed a 10-year contract to offer sports betting in Colorado through Bull Durham Casino in Black Hawk. Mintas expects PlayUp to be approved at the Aug. 27 Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission meeting.
Mintas couldn’t give too many specifics on what the US product would look like but said it will be noticed.
“We’re planning to come in with a big bang,” she said. “But what that will be is still a little bit of a secret.”
PlayUp has different plans for US market
Mintas has no plans for PlayUp to be just another overseas sportsbook blindly fighting for US sports betting market share.
“I would not have joined PlayUp to just introduce another brand to the US,” Mintas said. “The idea is really to be different, to have differentiated products and to tap into untapped markets.”
Female sports bettors, for instance, are a market not deeply explored, Mintas said. She’s also interested in bringing products that can help new or novice bettors understand sports betting.
Don’t be surprised if PlayUp introduces some products that use data in an interesting way, either. Mintas was the deputy president of data provider Sportradar, and has written and talked about the potential of player tracking and biometric data in the past.
Key learnings from @ICENorthAmerica Investor Day: Invest in wearable tech that collects biometric data & sensor tech that collects X, Y, Z coordinates in real-time (under 1 sec) to create innovate betting products and in betting platform/risk trading that can handle US sports pic.twitter.com/eUXcjyFrZh
— Dr. Laila Mintas (@DrMintas) May 15, 2019
Mintas also hinted at trying different ways to attract players. She’s also looking for different ways to entertain sports fans while watching games.
PlayUp’s fixed-odds horse racing and fantasy platform could also launch in the US eventually. The company is also licensed to offer betting on horse racing in North Dakota through advance deposit wagering.
No retail plans
Another big difference for PlayUp compared to other US sportsbooks will be the lack of a retail presence.
PlayUp is an entirely online-only operation everywhere it’s licensed, including India and New Zealand.
Mintas said the company takes the funds that would be used to furnish and build retail sportsbooks and invests it back into the product.
Experience and own technology are positives
There are two major positives for PlayUp on its entrance to the US, according to Mintas: experience operating in Australia and owning its own technology and odds team.
Australians are significantly more interested in American sports than European bettors are. That means the team has plenty of experience with what it will be pricing for US customers, Mintas said.
PlayUp was recently ranked top overall for odds competitiveness in Australia by odds monitoring company Dynamic Odds. That will remain a priority in the US, Mintas said.
The company also has a lot of VIP customers that make big bets in Australia, which it intends to replicate in the States, she added.
“The company, I always like to say, is like a speedboat,” Mintas said. “We’re a small team compared to all the giants out there. … We’re able to react pretty quickly depending on the tendencies we see in the market.”