PlayUp CEO Does Not Dispute Findings of Ohio Casino Control Commission...After Disputing Them

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:


Daniel Simic, CEO of PlayUp, wants to make it clear that he does not dispute the findings of the Ohio Casino Control Commission following a report that appeared on Legal Sports Report

He at first insisted the claim appearing on LSP that "PlayUp has one or more disqualifying violations of accepting illegal wagers from individuals in the U.S. after April 16, 2015, through its slots+ product" was not accurate. 

On Sunday morning, Simic seemed to want to convey to that PlayUp's Slots+ product offering in the state of Ohio was perfectly legal, and we were more than accommodating in providing him with a podium....or so we thought.   

"In the Notice there is a specific date referenced which is April 16, 2015," he told "Possibly an amendment to the legislation at that time? I will ask US lawyers tomorrow. The Slots+ product was only offered in legal Pari-Mutuel Horse racing states.

"At no stage has playup ever engaged in offering real money Slots to Ohio residents. As Matt Waters (of LSR) comments, Slots are based on Random number generators (and algorithms). The Slots+ product is very different in that payout are determined on Pari-Mutuel horse racing.

"This type of product has been in the market since 2012 and appears to be operational in Ohio Churchill cutting online bingo site."

By Sunday evening, Simic appeared to be changing his tune....we think.

"I never said anything about whether the product can be offered in Ohio or not, I certainly didn’t say I dispute the OCCC findings," Simic insisted. "I specifically stated a date the law may have changed and that I need to rely on Lawyer advice."

According to the LSR report, the Ohio Casino Control Commission has already made it abundantly clear based on their own assessment related to "violations" (again, per the notice appearing on the LSR website), this particular product cannot be offered in Ohio or at least not in the capacity PlayUp was presenting it.

And those findings Simic apparently does not dispute.

"Notice was sent to the company from OCCC" per Legal Sports Report, "violations of conducting, participating in the conduct, or facilitating the conduct of the slots+ product in Ohio or through affiliates." 

For those readers trying to understand what the slots+ horse racing product is, Simic directed us to a page offering an explanation then claimed he never told us to go there.

"I didn’t point you to any PlayUp product. Its not playups product and I clearly pointed you to Potent Systems website."

We have no idea what the Potent Systems website is or why he'd be sending us there, but I guess we'll play along.  We did assume it was his site because that's where he was sending us.  Our bad.  Simic's comments are in red below.


We should also note that Simic used the small "p" in playups without the apostrophes.  We don't want to misconstrue what he submitted to us. 

There's still this per the LSR site, again labeled as "Notice was sent to the company from the OCCC" (sorry for repeating ourselves):

"Violations of conducting, participating in the conduct, or facilitating the conduct of the slots+ product in Ohio or through affiliates.  That includes sports betting, games of chance and casino gaming."

Simic doesn't dispute anything appearing on the LSR website it appears.  Guess what he's pissed off about?

Simic appears to have taken offense to comparing PlayUp with offshore sportsbook operators taking bets in the state of Ohio.

"I said 'your article claims' that PlayUp is an offshore betting operator. That is false," Simic said.

That, of course, would seem to imply that PlayUp was based in the U.S, at the time the Ohio Casino Control Commission claims "PlayUp has one or more disqualifying violations of accepting illegal wagers from individuals in the U.S. after April 16, 2015, through its slots+ product".  Simic can certainly provide a copy of the license issued to PlayUp to take bets over this period.  Offshore operators taking bets from Ohio residents typically hold licenses issued by the nations of Curacao or Antigua. It was not immediately clear which jurisdiction issued the PlayUp license post-2015.

CasinoCity refers to PlayUp as "one of the few completely Australian owned corporate bookmakers".   Australia is considered, by most Americans anyway, to be offshore.

The article in question stated the following:

At issue also, PlayUp reportedly has one or more issues related to accepting wagers from individuals residing within the U.S. after 2015 via its slots product, according to the notice sent to the company provided by the OCCC.  Specifically, PlayUp appeared to be allowing those in Ohio to play real money slots prior to the setup of regulations, per the OCCC notice.  The Ohio Casino Control Commission only began licensing betting firms in recent weeks with the first legal sports wager placed January 1.

Simic insisted that "the notice never said that PlayUp allowed those in Ohio to Play Real Money slots" despite it explicitly claiming, per LSR, "PlayUp has one or more disqualifying violations of accepting illegal wagers from individuals in the U.S. after April 16, 2015, through its slots+ product" (see the LSR screen shot of the notice below).  

"The entire OCCC correspondence is in regards to the legality of the Slots+ product and relevant advertising of the slots+ product, not the offering of real money slots," Simic said.


A hearing on the matter is slated for 23rd January 2023.  At this time the Ohio Casino Control Commission will determine if PlayUp can operate in the state.  We sincerely wish them the very best.  Ohio is pretty much allowing everyone and their mother to operate a sportsbook accept for PlayUp...and Barstool Sports.  Dina's Pizza & Pub is among nearly 1,000 Ohio locations approved to host sports betting kiosks.   Kroger's can as well.  Bowling alleys, gas stations, convenience stores, they're all welcome.  Just not PlayUp yet.  Maybe on January 23 they'll be embraced.  Who knows?

"I don’t know Ohio law and have Ohio lawyers dealing with the matter," Simic tells


If there is anything good to come out of the PlayUp initial rejection, it's that regulators and Ohio Governor Michael DeWine made it abundantly clear they were pissed off with what they've seen so far since sports betting lauched on January 1.  That sentiment was voiced on January 2.  And DeWine was not referring to PlayUp.

The betting company is having a very bad start to the new year. 

This week, IG Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:IGAC) announced it has terminated a business combination with PlayUp that would have taken the later company public.

Through the deal, announced this past September, PlayUp was to list on the NASDAQ via a newly-formed Irish company (“Parent”). The transaction valued PlayUp at $350 million.

That's no more.

- Jagajeet Chiba,

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