A pair of violations were announced at the most recent Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) meeting. PENN Entertainment/Barstool Sportsbook’s potential $250,000 fine attracted the most attention, but PlayUp was the subject of a serious allegation from the OCCC as well.
The OCCC shared with PlayUp, the mobile management services provider for JACK Cleveland Casino, that it plans to deny its mobile management services provider license. The commission’s issue stems from PlayUp “accepting illegal wagers” on its slots+ product.
PlayUp plans to take advantage of its right to a hearing with the OCCC, and the hearing will likely occur next month.
“We cannot comment on the licensing process of other operators in the state,” a spokesperson for JACK Cleveland Casino said. “Each license is unrelated, and betJACK has no affiliation with other operators.”
BetJACK will serve the casino’s retail sportsbook operator. Legal sports wagering platforms launch in Ohio beginning on Jan. 1.
The OCCC’s letter suggests PlayUp advertising made slots+ seem like a legal game in Ohio, even though it was not. The OCCC specifically cites wagers being placed after April 16, 2015, in Ohio as violations.
PlayUp’s advertisements for slots+ were referred to as “false, deceptive, misleading or otherwise impermissible.”
Slots+ uses historical horse racing data instead of a random number generator like most slot games. A quick look on the App Store shows that slots+ is no longer available for download.
Shawn taking on both sides here. pic.twitter.com/nhkzdf8VXZ
— 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗺𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲 (@EricTheUmpire) December 17, 2022
PlayUp, which did not immediately return a request for comment from OH Bets, does offer a legal mobile sports betting app in Colorado and New Jersey.
PlayUp has already requested a hearing, which is expected to occur in late January, according to a spokesperson with the OCCC.
“I want to stress the importance of the commission’s suitability investigations and the very high standards set by the General Assembly for all applicants and licensees,” OCCC Executive Director Matthew Schuler said at a meeting earlier this month.
Following the January hearing, OCCC commissioners will vote on any possible action against PlayUp. In the meantime, PlayUp cannot operate in Ohio and won’t be issued a license.
The timing of the hearing will come after the official launch of legalized sports betting in Ohio, which will take place at the beginning of the month. That means PlayUp won’t be ready to launch until at least the end of January, and that’s if it gets through the hearing process and is ultimately granted a license.