New Jersey gaming regulators have granted sports betting license approval for the Australian-based sportsbook, PlayUp to enter the competitive Garden State online sports wagering market. With more than 350 000 users in Australia and New Zealand, PlayUp will bring with it a unique mix of online sports betting services, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and online horse racing betting. Exactly when PlayUp will launch in New Jersey is still unknown, although widely expected to be in Q1 2021. PlayUp’s Partners in New Jersey PlayUp has entered into a multi-year agreement with FR Park Racing, the operator and sports betting license holder of New Jersey’s Freehold Raceway, which is jointly owned by Penn National Gaming, Greenwood Racing, and Parx Casino. Given the proximity of Freehold Raceway to the border with Pennsylvania and the presence of Penn National Gaming in the deal, it appears the PlayUp is also positing itself for entry into legal sports betting in Pennsylvania. Nothing has yet been announced of a deal to operate in the Keystone State. “We are very excited about the partnership with two excellent brands – Parx Casino and Penn National,” said PlayUp USA’s Chief Executive Laila Mintas. “We are looking forward to establishing PlayUp as a strong and innovative sports betting brand in the US. We are working to launch in New Jersey in the first quarter of this year.” Mintas continued. From the other side of the fence, Parx Senior Vice President of Interactive Gaming and Sports Matthew Cullen said of the PlayUp deal; “Parx Casino is happy to partner with PlayUp in New Jersey as they debut their international expertise of online sports betting in the United States” The agreement is only PlayUp’s second market access deal in the United States following its debut in Colorado in 2020 in partnership with the Mile-High State’s Bull Durham Casino. PlayUp’s Global Chief Executive Officer Daniel Simic added on the impending PlayUp sportsbook launch in New Jersey: “This is great news and another positive result for our business. We are building strong foundations of technology, systems and partnerships which will enable us to pursue our plans for rapid growth. “We look forward to continuing to leverage our industry knowledge and innovative thinking to offer our clients the best possible betting experience in Australia and the US.” NJ Sports Betting Industry Icon, Dennis Drazin, Increases PlayUp’s profile in the state. PlayUp first established links to New Jersey in early December when Dennis Drazin was cleverly appointed to the PlayUp Board of Directors. An icon of the sports betting industry in New Jersey, Drazin is chairman and Chief Executive officer of Darby Development LLC, the operator of Monmouth Park, the largest and arguably, most famous racetrack in New Jersey. Drazin and the Monmouth Park track made sports betting history in New Jersey when it famously accepted the state’s first legal sports wager in the facility’s onsite William Hill sportsbook by Governor Phil Murphy on June 14, 2018, when he placed $20 on an eventual unsuccessful wager on Germany to win the 2018 Soccer World Cup. Drazin will supply the kind of high-profile connections and know-how that PlayUp will need to be a success in the ultra-competitive New Jersey sports betting market. However, given some of their unique products, PlayUp might prove to be a hit in New Jersey with-or-without Drazin’s help. In particular, PlayUp’s take on DFS – where it is a mix of DFS and sports wagering as we know it, or peer-to-peer online betting, according to PlayUp – is exactly the sort of product that should be hit straight out of the gates in the highly sports betting literate environment of New Jersey.