PlayUp May Fail On Ohio Sports Betting License Application

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on December 15, 2022 - Last Updated on December 19, 2022
occc playup sportsbook ohio illegal gambling

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) may deny the Ohio sports betting license to PlayUp Sportsbook, one of Jack Cleveland Casino’s online providers.

OCCC’s Executive Director, Matt Schuler, said the commission discovered PlayUp’s potential illegal gambling activity during the licensing suitability process. The violations are related to the company’s PlayUp Slots+ product.

The company will not receive an Ohio sports betting license until the matter is resolved. Schuler said PlayUp requested a hearing on the decision. Once the hearing on the subject is complete, the commission will vote on potential action.

Ohio sports betting market is scheduled to go live on Jan. 1 and PlayUp was among dozens of sportsbooks looking to launch in the state.

PlayUp Slots+ platform falsely presented as legal in Ohio

According to the OCCC, PlayUp has accepted illegal bets from individuals in the US after Apr. 16, 2015.

More precisely, the company used affiliates to promote its product to Ohioan players. The betting company also falsely presented that its app was legal to play within the state.

The OCCC issued a cease and desist notice to PlayUp and its PlayUp Slots+ platform provider and tech partner, Potent Games.

PENN Entertainment faces $250,000 fine for targeting Ohio underage users

PlayUp was not the only sportsbook operator to receive bad news before the launch of Ohio’s online gambling market.

PENN Entertainment‘s Barstool Sportsbook was notified of a potential $250,000 fine for alleged Ohio sports betting ad violations targeting individuals under 21.

But, before the fine is imposed, the alleged violations still need to be voted on by the commission.

Barstool Sportsbook advertised pre-registration promotions “during the Barstool College Football Show that was either “on, or targeting the area of,” the University of Toledo‘s campus on Nov. 15.”

Schuler said Penn Sports Interactive is entitled to have a hearing in front of the OCCC for the alleged violations.

Ohio sports betting launch date remains Jan. 1

Despite rumors about Ohio’s sports betting release date, Ohio gambling regulators like Schuler pointed out that the launch will occur on Jan. 1 at 12:01 a.m.

The commission has thoroughly investigated all operators. As Schuler said, the start date was picked to give every sportsbook the same opportunity to launch simultaneously.

Whether Type A, Type B or Type C sports betting license holders, they will all launch at a given time, New Year’s Day. Likewise, all forms of sports betting — online, sportsbooks and kiosks — will go live simultaneously on the same date.

Clarification: This story was edited to make it clear that the status of PlayUp’s license is still pending until an upcoming hearing.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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