PlayUp Under Media Fire Over Self-Exclusion Failures

Australian bookmaker PlayUp is under media fire after customers who had asked to be barred from betting to place bets have been found to have been permitted to place bets, reports Guardian Australia.

The sports betting operator is licenced in the Northern Territory where self-exclusion lists the code of conduct for the provision of wagering services as one of Australian punters ‘ rights.

Daniel Simic, CEO of PlayUp, told Guardian Australia that his company had been able to unwittingly service self-excluded gamblers until recently because the provider owned multiple licences that were run as separate businesses and were not allowed to share information on gambling customers with each other. The different operations were merged into one company as of November.

Mr. Simic said the recent findings of self-excluded gamblers being permitted to put wagers with their brands would not infringe their permit.

Initially, PlayUp was intended to be a supplier of sports betting technology. It received support from a group of wealthy investors from its start, including Alex Turnbull, the son of former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

PlayUp burned A$ 100 million that was ploughed into by shareholders but in 2016 was put in liquidation. Mr. Simic purchased the assets of the company in 2017, including the product PlayUp. The company made an unsuccessful attempt to float under its new owners. The ASX cancelled its flotation plan, raising concerns about the suitability of the bookmaker’s listing.

He purchased several other betting operators, including Classicbet, Bet Bet, Madbookie, and TopBetta, after Mr. Simic took over as the company’s CEO. As mentioned earlier, before their merger last month, these were initially operated as separate businesses. Mr. Simic said all brands now operate as one and are run by one team.

According to Guardian Australia, in August, PlayUp’s Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Parramore, told other company executives, including its CEO, that it was necessary to address “ASAP” the issue of punters who had excluded themselves from gambling with one of their brands continuing to gamble with another, as PlayUp combined its operations on a single platform.

Asked to comment on this, Mr. Simic clarified that if their personal information on the platforms did not match, bettors it “would have been possible” to position wagers on one platform while being excluded from another.

The executive went on to say that they had no way to know “who’s who if wrong data has been entered” and that he heard of one incident involving a self-excluded consumer betting with another brand owned by PlayUp. The incident was resolved, Mr. Simic said.

He said his company didn’t “actually technically do anything wrong” and that each of their licences “has got its own list and we’re not supposed to be sharing data [between them] anyway.”