Australia-based gaming operator PlayUp may not receive its Ohio license after the state regulator uncovered possible illegal gambling activities related to the company’s PlayUp Slots+ product. The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has expressed its intention to suspend the licensing process. until PlayUp takes the necessary steps to fix the problems.
Ohio Will Be a Lucrative and Highly Competitive Market
PlayUp could falter at the last possible moment on its next launch in Ohio. The operator had received conditional approval for its online license, but the OCCC’s latest findings could dash the company’s hopes. The setback could be devastating for PlayUp as the Ohio sportsbook officially goes live on January 1, with dozens of operators scrambling to grab an early head start. Conditionally approved mobile sportsbooks aiming for an early start rose to 20 after BallyBet, Betway, Out The Gate, and Underdog Sports. Many top-tier gaming operators have expressed interest in tapping into Ohio’s passionate sports fan base.
With a population of nearly 12 million, multiple studies predict it will become one of the top sports betting states in the US by 2022. Even a short delay could spell disaster for the Australia-based company, as competition would be a key advantage to being early in the market.
A Future Hearing Will Decide PlayUp’s Fate
PlayUp has requested a hearing with the OCCC to present its arguments. After the talks, the Commission will vote on its final decision, but the impact on the operator appears devastating. The regulator alleges that PlayUp made several disqualifying regulations. The company’s product Slots+ allegedly allowed illegal gambling by US customers after April 16, 2015. The OCCC also accused the operator of misleading advertising related to this product.
PlayUp has insisted that it seeks full compliance with all Ohio regulations and will comply with the Commission’s injunction. The operator may already be taking steps to remedy the situation as the infringing Slots+ app has been disabled in all US states, underscoring the importance of a possible Ohio license.
The Commission Maintains High Standards
The OCCC will also vote on another high-profile violation after Barstool Sportsbook received notice of a potential $250,000 fine from PENN Entertainment. The company allegedly marketed its services to minors during its recent Barstool College Football Show. The Commission found that the event was aimed at the University of Toledo campus grounds, seriously violating marketing regulations. Such proactive steps by the Ohio regulator bode well for the state’s burgeoning sports betting market, as proper customer protections are critical to ensuring healthy play. Ambient. The OCCC’s decision to grant violators, the right to a hearing is also encouraging as it encourages dialogue and companies to resolve any outstanding issues.
As the state’s sports betting market is about to take off, the Commission’s initial decisions will set the tone for Ohio’s gaming industry.