PlayUp Shutters In Colorado As It Sells US Operations

Written By Cole Rush on 07/13/2023 - Last Updated on July 14, 2023
Colorado loses another sportsbook as PlayUp halts operations.

PlayUp’s US operations are set to come to a screeching halt soon, leaving Colorado down yet another sportsbook.

The company is expected to sell its US business to an undisclosed publicly listed company. The sale will also herald a massive restructuring. PlayUp will retain only seven US employees as part of the upcoming deal.

CEO Daniel Simic said PlayUp’s Australian business will remain intact while its US arm will be sold to a company with a senior management team better equipped to run a US sportsbook.

The acquisition was scheduled to occur on June 30, but some delays pushed it back to the end of July.

PlayUp’s financial and foothold woes doom company

PlayUp launched in Colorado on March 8, 2021. With recent exits of other sportsbooks plus PlayUp’s downfall, the CO sports betting market is down to 20 operators.

PlayUp was only live in New Jersey and Colorado, two markets crowded by big-name operators. The company was ailing from the start, and numerous financial blows sealed the deal.

FTX funded PlayUp to the tune of $35 million in early 2022. Then, the business planned to sell to FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange, but FTX collapsed under the strain of illicit activity, and founder Sam Bankman-Fried using the exchange as his personal piggy bank (among many other suspected crimes).

That left PlayUp out to dry, and the struggles only continued from there.

Some reports from anonymous employees say PlayUp has failed to pay its workers since mid-June, and layoffs continue ahead of the sale. Simic claims that some employees have not been completing their work. That could be true if they weren’t being paid.

Another sportsbook bites the dust in CO

PlayUp’s implosion and impending sale adds another sportsbook to the list of operators leaving Colorado.

Maverick Sportsbook and Sky Ute Sportsbook are both shutting down operations in the state. This follows TwinSpires’ exit in 2022 and Elite Sportsbook’s exodus from The Centennial State on June 5 of this year.

Bally Bet stopped accepting bets recently, but it’s planning to come back after a merger with Kambi, which is expected to amp up the sportsbook’s technology and offer better odds and user experience improvements.

Even with these recent exits, Colorado should consider hiking its tax rate, which at 10% is one of the lowest in the US. The companies that have shuttered operations recently are because of reasons much deeper than the state’s favorable tax rate.

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Cole Rush

Cole Rush writes words. A lot of them. Most of those words can be found in gambling publications such as PlayIllinois, iGaming Business, Gaming Today,,, ICE 365, and IGB North America. Cole also covers pop culture and books for and Cole has more than eight years of experience writing about gambling and entertainment.

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