December 16, 2022 3 min read


PlayUp Denied Ohio License Due to Illegal Gambling Concerns

The Ohio Casino Control Commission intends to deny PlayUp its sportsbook license due to illegal gambling allegations

Australia-based betting operator PlayUp will likely fail to obtain its Ohio license after the state’s regulator uncovered potential illegal gambling activity related to the company’s PlayUp Slots+ product. The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) expressed its intent to suspend the licensing process until PlayUp takes the necessary action to remedy the issues.

Ohio Will Be a Lucrative and Highly Competitive Market

PlayUp may falter in its upcoming Ohio launch at the last possible moment. The operator had secured conditional approval for its online license, but the OCCC’s recent findings may dash the company’s hopes. The setback may be devastating for PlayUp, as the Ohio sportsbook market officially goes live on 1 January with dozens of operators looking to secure an early lead.

The conditionally approved mobile sportsbooks eyeing an early launch rose to 20 after BallyBet, Betway, Out The Gate, and Underdog Sports. Many high-profile betting operators have expressed interest in tapping Ohio’s passionate sports fan base. With a population of nearly 12 million, several studies predict it will become one of the top US sports betting states in 2022. Even a short delay could be disastrous for the Australia-based company, as it would give the competition a substantial advantage in establishing an early market presence.

A Future Hearing Will Decide PlayUp’s Fate

PlayUp has requested a hearing with the OCCC in an attempt to plead its case. After the talks, the Commission will vote on their final decision, but the implications against the operator appear damning.

The regulator claims that PlayUp made several disqualifying regulations. The company’s Slots+ product allegedly allowed illegal wagers from US clients after 16 April 2015. The OCCC also accused the operator of misleading advertising relating to that product.

PlayUp has been adamant that it seeks full compliance with all Ohio regulations and would honor the Commission’s cease-and-desist order. The operator may already be taking steps to remedy the situation, as the offending Slots+ app has been disabled in all US states, highlighting the importance of a potential Ohio license.

The Commission Maintains High Standards

The OCCC will also vote on another high-profile violation after PENN Entertainment’s Barstool Sportsbook received notice of a potential $250,000 fine. The company allegedly marketed its services to underage individuals during its recent Barstool College Football Show. The Commission noted that the event targeted the area of the University of Toledo‘s campus, constituting a severe violation of marketing regulations.

Such proactive measures by Ohio’s regulator are a good sign for the state’s burgeoning sports betting market, as adequate customer protection measures are vital in ensuring a healthy gambling environment. The OCCC’s decision to allow offending operators the right to a hearing is also encouraging, as it promotes dialogue and encourages companies to resolve any pending issues. With the state’s sportsbook market nearing its launch, the Commission’s first rulings will set the tone for the Ohio betting industry.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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