One of Australia’s top sportsbook companies, PlayUp has raised $25 million as it prepares to launch in the US sports betting market. PlayUp wants to set up operations with its mobile sports wagering product specifically in New Jersey and Colorado. And it’s not just these 2 states that the sportsbook operator is eyeing.
According to sources PlayUp has already managed to secure market access in several other jurisdictions so it should keep growing and expanding in the coming months. The operator hopes to avail its service in Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and later Michigan.
PlayUp is relatively still very young having been formed in 2019. It boasts itself as the only one hundred percent fully Australian owned sports betting app. PlayUp was formed by combining 5 other smaller Australian sports betting firms. The company’s unique in that it holds complete ownership of both its wagering and gaming technology as everything is developed in-house.
Currently, PlayUp is available in Australia, New Zealand, India, and now the U.S. It hopes to stand out other bigger and more established competitors by offering punters a more simplified betting platform that will make it a lot easier for punters to enjoy the overall wagering experience. Once it launches in the country, PlayUp will be able to offer punters both sports wagering, as well as daily fantasy sports.
So how will PlayUp measure up against the sports betting competition?
PlayUp has a lot of catching up to do if it has any hopes of standing out against the other competitors who are much more established in these markets. The task of standing out in what is becoming an increasingly saturated marketplace will call for continuous creativity and constant innovation.
What PlayUp can do is partner up with media houses and sports leagues and athletes which will give it more credibility and exposure. All the major sports leagues and operators have been quick to forge official betting partnerships and collaborations so PlayUp should be no different.
To steal a march on some of its rivals in New Jersey and Colorado, PlayUp will also need to spend some serious dollars on marketing. As more and more states welcome legal sports betting and more audiences become accessible, the ad spend will increase significantly. This will be essential for not only building PlayUp’s brand recognition but also its market share.
Playup will not be the first Australian company to join the burgeoning American sports betting market. As Australia’s first daily fantasy program, PlayUp will also have to compete directly with other DFS companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel. PointsBet, another Australian operator, is also another one of Playup’s biggest threat. Headquartered in Melbourne, PointsBet has been around for some time now after it officially launched in the Garden State as we’ve covered here.
Since then, it has gained access to 2 additional states namely, Iowa and Indiana. PointsBet has also struck deals with authorities in 9 other states including major sports betting markets in Colorado, Illinois, as well as Chicago. Looking ahead, PlayUp should work on capitalizing on the great pent up demand for US sports betting that has been brought about by the pandemic.
Mobile betting has been largely responsible for the sports betting boom that has occurred in the country. As such, PlayUp will also want to do everything it can to maintain a mobile-first outlook to product and customer acquisition. Bettors these days want to log in, pinpoint their desired betting market, and start placing bets with the fewest clicks possible. If PlayUp gets this right, it will be well on its way to market domination.
The status of legal sports betting in the country
The first few months of legal sports betting in the state of Colorado have been nothing but fruitful. Figures released by the Colorado Division of Gaming reveal continued growth in the Centennial State, and this is expected to persist in the coming years. In September, the state recorded more than $200 million in sports bets.
New Jersey, on the other hand, continues to maintain its top position in the sports betting market by recording an impressive $748 million in the same month. Things were not too bad in neighboring Pennsylvania with a monthly handle of $462 million. With close to $1 billion in wagers generated from both Nevada and Illinois, the country could easily reach $2.5 billion in combined eagers by the end of the year.
There is no denying that America has the biggest and best market in the world after the UK. It is little wonder that foreign operators such as PlayUp and PointsBet are clamoring for flourishing US sports betting markets such as New Jersey and Colorado to turbocharge their statewide expansion.
As legal sports betting reforms continue to sweep the rest of the country, PlayUp alongside other casino operators will keep growing. But it’s not going to be easy. PlayUp has entered one of the most competitive markets and all the big operators have already set up shop.
This is definitely a huge opportunity for PlayUp but the company is up to the task. Though small, it is a super-ambitious company that has been built on strong foundations. It also enjoys excellence in terms of technology so standing out in the US sports betting market shouldn’t be too hard for it to do. In terms of 2021 and beyond, it remains to be seen which states embrace legal sports betting but things have never been better for sportsbooks like PlayUp.
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