PlayUp Sportsbook Review

PlayUp is an Australian sportsbook with plans to launch in the United States in the very near future. In fact, the site already has a free to play daily fantasy sports site running for Americans.  If you’re looking for real money betting in the meantime, try one of these top sportsbooks.

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PlayUp is operated by the eponymous PlayUp Interactive Pty Limited, a company based in Sydney that began as a fantasy sports provider. The group recently expanded its operations after acquiring several established sportsbooks as well as the daily fantasy site Draftstars, combining them all under the PlayUp name. PlayUp currently serves more than 300,000 customers, primarily in Australia, New Zealand and India.

In July 2020, PlayUp announced its intention to enter the US market and quickly began work to raise funds and secure approvals from individual state regulators. The most likely scenario will be for PlayUp launch first in Colorado and New Jersey in 2021 before making its way to other states with legal online sports betting.

When it does go live in the US, PlayUp should be well-positioned to adapt to wherever it lands, thanks in part to its in-house sports betting platform. The site also has its own risk and trading team that possesses familiarity with US sports, which are quite popular among its current customer base.

Here is an overview of what the PlayUp Sportsbook will look to provide when it launches, including a look at its current promotions and features as well as peek at the free fantasy sports site already available here.

PlayUp Sportsbook welcome bonuses and promotional offers 

It remains to be seen what sort of welcome bonuses and promotions PlayUp Sportsbook will have when it launches in the states.

The international site doesn’t have any such bonuses at all. However, that’s because in 2019 the gambling laws were changed in Australia to prohibit sites from offering them.

In the US market, not only are welcome bonuses allowed, but they’re so prevalent as to be almost mandatory for any site hoping to be competitive. The US version of PlayUp should therefore have some sort of incentive for new users, but what it will look like is a mystery at this point.

Making up for the lack of welcome bonuses, the international PlayUp Sportsbook offers a variety of promotions for all users, new and old. In fact, newly-registered users will find a few such bonuses right after they finish creating their accounts. The law in Australia only prevents PlayUp from extending such offers as an enticement to sign up, not from rewarding players once they’ve done so.

Available promotions vary, though they typically include a variety of daily and weekly promos, some specific to particular sports. There are also promotions offering odds boosts on particular matchups.

Another popular promotion on PlayUp Sportsbook are the 103% markets on moneyline and point spread bets for certain sports, including the NBA. This gives bettors better odds on these contests at PlayUp than they would generally find at other sportsbooks.

PlayUp loyalty program

PlayUp has a loyalty program called VIP Rewards. The program rewards users points for depositing funds and for wagering. This might be a differentiating factor if the company brings it over to its US site. While large online gambling companies like BetMGM have rewards programs that span all their verticals (and even extend to their retail casinos), standalone US sportsbooks haven’t generally adopted the loyalty program model.

Creating an account at PlayUp Sportsbook 

Creating a PlayUp Sportsbook account is a quick and easy process. The current sportsbook requires first entering some personal information, then some additional account information. First click the green “Join Now” button in the upper right. Then enter the following personal information:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Physical address
  • Email address
  • Mobile phone number

Next click the second tab and continue with the following steps:

  • Create a username
  • Create a password
  • Provide your date of birth
  • Enter deposit limit settings (optional)

Finally click “create account,” and you’re done. Later you can deposit funds and start placing wagers.

PlayUp Sportsbook app

You can access the current PlayUp Sportsbook on a desktop or laptop using any web browser, though you can’t bet on it from the US. PlayUp also has free apps for iOS and Android devices.

You can access the app by visiting the PlayUp website on your mobile device, scrolling to the bottom, and clicking the app you’d like to download and install.

The app is smartly designed and functions very much like the desktop version. You can access all of the same markets and wagering options on the app, and can perform all of the same banking options as on the web-based version.

PlayUp’s PlayChip Fantasy site for US players

For its international customers, PlayUp Sportsbook incorporates racebook for horse and dog racing, and connects with its Draftstars daily fantasy site. However when PlayUp opens its real money sites in the US, they will likely be standalone sportsbooks at first.

That said, PlayUp already offers its US players an alternative, the PlayChip Fantasy site. This site is global, free to play, and available to anyone 18 or older, from the US or elsewhere.

Although free to use, PlayChip also has its own cryptocurrency (PLA), currently listed on multiple crypto exchanges. There are contests which take entry fees and pay out prizes in PLA. The game offerings are modest at present with only a few contests running at any one time. That said, the games themselves are effectively managed, and the site’s organization and functionality rivals that of other DFS sites.

Once PlayUp launches its US sportsbook, it may also add real money daily fantasy sports. Regulations vary from state to state in terms of whether it can use a shared account and player balance for both products.

Betting at PlayUp Sportsbook

The PlayUp Sportsbook offers an especially wide range of betting options. These include all of the most popular bet types as well as a few that are less common.

Being an Australian site, its favored format to display odds for international customers is decimal odds, as used by sportsbooks in many European and Asian countries. For US sites, PlayUp will no doubt employ the more familiar American odds (aka moneyline odds) as the default. Bet types on the PlayUp Sportsbook include the following:

Moneyline

For all contests, the PlayUp Sportsbook offers the classic moneyline bet. This is simply a prediction of the winner or loser of a contest, with larger payouts for betting on underdogs and smaller payouts for betting on favorites.

Spreads

Point spread betting is also available for essentially every contest on PlayUp, as it is at other sportsbooks. This is similar to moneyline betting, except with a handicap applied to the score to account for the strength difference between the teams. These points, called the spread, are subtracted from the favored team’s score to determine the winner of the bet. For example, a bet on “Kansas City -8.5” is a bet on the Chiefs to win by more than 8.5 points (i.e., nine or more). If their opponents were the Cowboys, they’d be listed as “Dallas +8.5,” and a bet on them would pay off even if they lost, so long as it was by 8 points or less.

Margins

Margin betting is similar to spread betting, but with more options. Instead of just picking the winner with a fixed spread, you’re picking both a winner and a range of margins of victory. For instance, in a basketball game, you might be choosing between a 10+ point win for the Raptors, a single-digit win for them, a single-digit win for the Celtics, or a 10+ point win for them.

Though margin bets can be found at many sportsbook, PlayUp highlights them to a much greater degree. For example, under each NBA game you’ll find margin bets right alongside the common moneyline, point spread and totals bets.

Totals

Also known as the “over/under,” totals bets allow you to wager on whether the total points scored by both teams in a game will be over or under a line set by the sportsbook. You’ll also find alternative totals, where the line is drawn higher or lower and the odds are adjusted accordingly.

Props

Props or proposition bets are variety bets, usually based on things other than the game’s full time score. The most common varieties are partial game props, team props and player props.

Partial game props resemble standard moneyline, spread or totals bets, but for the result at the end of one period, quarter or half of play, rather than at full time. Team props involve the performance of one side of the contest, for example the first team to 10 points or whether one time will rush for more than a certain number of yards. Player props involve the performance of a single athlete, such as how many three-pointers a given basketball player will score in the game.

Futures

Futures are bets on events or outcomes that aren’t directly related to a single upcoming match, but things that will be settled at a more distant date. Most commonly, this means bets on the winner of the season. You might instead bet on the winner of a single division, or on the round of the playoffs at which a team is eliminated. Player-specific futures are also possible, such as which player will win MVP or some other award.

Parlays

PlayUp Sportsbook makes it easy to create your parlay bets, which combine multiple bets into a single package. The appeal of these is that the payouts grow exponentially as you add bets (known as “legs”) to your bet. The downside is that you have to get every one of your picks correct in order to win the parlay. There are also various ways of crafting parlay-like round robin bets where you’ll get a smaller payout if you hit all but one leg. On PlayUp you can add multiple bets to your slip, then click “multi/parlay options” to combine them into a parlay or round robin.

Live betting

Live betting, also known as in play or in game betting, involves placing bets while a game is in progress. These range from betting on what will happen on the next play, to placing a standard moneyline or spread bet part way through the game, to various kinds of in game props.

Another in game option commonly available at sportsbooks is the “cash-out option” enabling bettors to cash out a bet before a contest reaches its conclusion. Naturally, the payout is smaller when you settle a position early, as cashing out is effectively the same as hedging by taking the opposite side as an in play bet. PlayUp Sportsbook’s international site does not feature a cash out option at present, but it may bring one to the US.

Sports available at PlayUp Sportsbook

PlayUp Sportsbook currently offers a large menu of sports on which to bet. These include all of the most popular US sports, each of which also has a significant following in Australia:

  • Australian rules football
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Darts
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Handball
  • Hockey
  • Mixed martial arts (UFC)
  • Motor racing
  • Rugby
  • Snooker
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

On its international site, PlayUp also accepts wagers on non-sports activities like reality television and political elections. The latter will not be an option in the US, where betting on elections is prohibited. However, PlayUp may potentially accept Oscars wagers and similar kinds of bets in states where the law allows it.

In any event, expect PlayUp to offer users a variety of betting markets at its US sites. The focus will necessarily be on American favorites, but will likely include many international sports as well.

Depositing and withdrawing at PlayUp Sportsbook 

Once PlayUp Sportsbook launches in the US, available banking methods will depend in part on individual states’ laws and regulations. The Australian site offers multiple ways of funding accounts, including:

  • Credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard)
  • Bank transfer (ACH, e-check)
  • Third-party payment systems
  • Prepayment methods

PlayUp also uses Australia-based third-party payments systems like POLi and BPAY, but these won’t carry over to the US site. In the US, expect to see PayPal or other equivalent providers among the options. The current site allows Paysafecard, a voucher or prepayment method owned by Skrill. Similar methods, including Play+ will likely be available in the US too.

There is a $10 minimum on both deposits and withdrawals. Some cash out methods may only be available if they were also used to make a deposit.

PlayUp customer support 

The current PlayUp Sportsbook includes a modest FAQ section which explains a few particulars regarding player accounts. There is also phone and live chat support available each day from 7 a.m. to midnight. Users can also contact PlayUp Sportsbook support via email.

User experience at PlayUp Sportsbook 

The PlayUp Sportsbook features a clean, accessible look with an attractive green, black and white color scheme. Navigation is intuitive and easy, making the overall user experience quite positive. Those who use other online sportsbooks will find much that is familiar at the PlayUp Sportsbook in terms of the site’s organization and offerings.

The left column provides shortcuts to different sports, current promotions, the FAQ section and more. On the right appears the user’s bet slip where you can add wagers before confirming them. The wide middle column initially displays highlighted contests, then as you select different sports, it shows information about different wagers available.

With each contest, the most popular kinds of bets are highlighted (moneyline, point spread, totals, margin betting). However, by clicking “more markets,” additional wagering options appear, including all of the different team and player prop bets.

One unique element is the incorporation of an external site, called Playbook, which includes a rich selection of articles and betting tips for various sports. The articles are well-written, and the recommendations and advice are quite useful.

PlayUp Sportsbook: pros and cons

The international PlayUp Sportsbook has a lot going for it, earning mostly very positive reviews from users. The most often cited pros include:

  • Clear, simple design and intuitive navigation
  • Number and frequency of promotions
  • Fair pricing and odds
  • High-functioning apps
  • Partnerships with multiple Australian professional leagues

Some of the cons occasionally cited include the following:

  • No welcome bonus
  • No in play “cash out” option
  • Limited banking options

Some (or all) of these cons may not apply once PlayUp Sportsbook launches in the US. Given the company’s history, its familiarity with American sports and its significant tech experience, it is safe to say that PlayUp will provide an attractive and competitive choice for sports bettors once it launches in the US.

PlayUp Sportsbook FAQ 

In what states does PlayUp Sportsbook operate?

None as yet. Colorado may be the first. There, PlayUp has partnered with the Bull Durham Saloon & Casino in Black Hawk. The company has also indicated it has secured market access in New Jersey. Expect the site to launch in those two states and perhaps others during 2021.

Do you have to be a resident of the state in order to place bets with PlayUp?

No. Once PlayUp is active in the US, anyone of legal age will be able to bet on the site or app, so long as they are physically within the state’s borders. Residency isn’t a requirement for any sportsbook or online gambling site.

What is the minimum age to place a bet on the PlayUp Sportsbook?

With its international site, PlayUp accepts wagers from users who are 18 or older. However, in the US, state laws will govern. In most places, this means that bettors will have to be 21 or older, though some states’ laws differ.

How is PlayUp Sportsbook licensed?

The international PlayUp Sportsbook is licensed by the Northern Territory Government of Australia. When it comes to the US market, PlayUp will be governed by the same state-level regulators as any other site.

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