FTX Invests A$48 Million in Australian Betting Company PlayUp

Ben H / 21 March 2022

FTX, the popular crypto exchange, has been a long-time admirer of Australian sports betting company PlayUp and what it was doing. The crypto derivatives exchange was so interested in PlayUp that, at one time, it was even considering acquiring the Australian bookmaker.

FTX recently announced that it won’t purchase the Australian sportsbook. However, it said it will invest A$48 million to aid the betting operator’s US expansion. PlayUp has always maintained that expanding in the United States was one of their main goals. So, the FTX investment facilitating that is more than welcome.

One Wagering Platform for Betting and Gaming

PlayUp currently operates in New Jersey and Colorado and has market access agreements for the states of Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Iowa. In addition to offering US players its sports betting products, PlayUp is allowed to offer online gaming to New Jersey, Iowa, and Pennsylvania residents.

Ramnik Arora, Head of Product at FTX, said in a recent company announcement that they invested US$35 million (A$48 million) in PlayUp referring to the move as a bold and sensible one. Arora noted that many casinos and sportsbooks accept cryptocurrency payments, so the investment made a lot of sense.

Daniel Simic, PlayUp CEO for global operations, said that they were very happy with how well their US expansion was going. He added that the FTX investment will accelerate PlayUp’s entrance into the US market and grow their sports betting and online gaming presence in the United States.

PlayUp’s idea is to incorporate several betting and gaming platforms into a single one. It plans to offer various online gaming and betting products from the same platform, such as sports betting, daily fantasy contests, gaming, and fixed-odds racing.

Price Hike Attempts

FTX was originally planning to buy PlayUp but was deterred by former CEO Laila Mintas and her attempts of increasing the value of the betting operator. However, when Mintas was taken to court over her alleged attempts of sabotaging the deal, she said that it was actually Daniel Simic, the Global PlayUp CEO who tried to squeeze an additional A$235 million on top of the A$620 the two companies have already agreed on.

The PlayUp – Mintas saga aside, PlayUp has managed to stay focused on expanding in the US and improving its products for American bettors. To facilitate this expansion, PlayUp appointed Art Hamilton as its CFO for the United States. Mr Hamilton has vast experience in business development, analytics, and budgeting, and has also worked with PlayUp shareholder Matt Davey at NYX Gaming Group.

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Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and four children's books... [Read full bio]

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