Q&A with PlayUp CEO Dr. Laila Mintas About New Jersey Launch

Q&A with PlayUp CEO Dr. Laila Mintas About New Jersey Launch
By Lou Monaco

PlayUp is an online-only sports betting, entertainment and tech company that owns its own proprietary wagering and fantasy platform and operates an in-house risk and trading team. The PlayUp Group offers legal products in Australia, New Zealand, India and soon in the U.S.

Its product offering includes, besides sports betting and daily fantasy sports, products such as horse racing (fixed and pari-mutuel odds), eSports and even fantasy on horse racing and eSports. The company says it serves as a one-stop-shop for sports fans.

With PlayUp about to launch as a new betting platform in New Jersey, we talked with its CEO, Dr. Laila Mintas.

TopNJCasinos (TNJC): Welcome to New Jersey. I believe this is your first state to enter the U.S. marketplace, why New Jersey and when will the official launch occur?

Laila Mintas: The New Jersey market has proven to be one of the most robust in the U.S. since it launched. While already a very competitive landscape, we also know that it is the gold standard in terms of regulation and operational standards. These are the types of jurisdictions we want to be in. We are excited to enter the market in time for March Madness and look forward to growing our brand in such a key state.

RELATED: Another Online Sportsbook Poised to Enter New Jersey Market

New Jersey is the largest sports betting market in the U.S. Since launch in 2018, the total handle has achieved $12.8 billion. Close to a billion dollars was bet in New Jersey only on sports in November and December. Since the pandemic, over 90% of all the betting volume is online. And the market is still not at its peak point. We await further growth and want to participate in this growth opportunity.

TNJC: With PlayUp becoming the 20th online mobile sports betting platform here in the Garden State, what differentiates PlayUp from other companies here in the U.S. and how can you separate yourself from our crowded field of operators?

LM: We are confident once fully launched in New Jersey and other markets in the U.S. the depth and breadth of our product offering will set us apart from others. We have developed cutting edge technology platforms for daily fantasy, fixed odds betting, esports, and other solutions we hope to announce soon. Our premium offerings will allow us to compete for a segment of the consumer base in a way that we feel will make us a very strong brand.

Our slogan is “Your best bet” and that's very authentic as we will be very aggressive on pricing and will offer the best odds in the market. Our offering is very broad with 150+ different sports including eSports betting, that sports fans can bet on. One key differentiator is certainly that we entered into a sponsorship deal with the only N.J. professional sports team, the New Jersey Devils. We own many assets through that deal including digital assets that will support our digital marketing strategy. Also, we are an online-only brand. Especially in times of social distancing, our products are very scalable.

TNJC: Is there a future bricks-and-mortar PlayUp sportsbook on the horizon?

LM: Never say never, but our roots are in the digital space. Our DNA is about being the best online offering for our customers and that will continue to be our primary focus as we look to expand throughout the U.S. We operate online only products on three different continents already — with the U.S., Australia and India. I have always been a strong believer in the “mobile-first-approach" and that the mobile screen will not be the second screen solution for a long time but really become the first screen very soon. We see that happening in Asia and other areas of the world already.

Also in the U.S., we are all using our mobile phones to call an Uber, to pay for our coffee at Starbucks and to book our hotels. Especially, the younger generation is using the mobile phone to watch sports and of course to place bets. Our approach couldn’t be more timely.

TNJC: How will you attract new bettors to your platform?

LM: As we build our brand we are leveraging strategic partnerships including our initial agreement with the New Jersey Devils. We are bullish on the affiliate market as well and will be aggressive in building out a strong network of affiliate operators throughout the U.S. We are confident that we can attract a user base that will be drawn to our product offering.

We will offer many new and innovative products in the U.S. market and become a one-stop-shop for customers that will allow us to cross-sell the customers across different product verticals. As we launch many new markets this year in the U.S., with New Jersey and Colorado being the first two, we will have a “traveling wallet” which makes the customer experience more seamless. There is much more coming soon.

TNJC: Six months after official launch, where would you like PlayUp to be positioned in the marketplace?

LM: Due to the competitive landscape that already exists we are realistic about our place in terms of market share. We aren’t trying to become the largest operator in the state in year one. It is important for us to build our customer base by having customers who respond to our product offering. We will always be aggressive in trying to acquire new users but it will be just as important for us to create strong bonds with our customers and creating a loyal base of repeat bettors.



Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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