US court grants PlayUp temporary restraining order against US CEO Dr Laila Mintas over breach of contract claim

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A United States district court judge has sided with PlayUp in its decision to pursue a temporary restraining order against CEO Dr Laila Mintas.

The restraining order was granted after judge Gloria M. Navarro agreed with PlayUp’s claim that Mintas was in breach of her contract.

The breach related to her conduct during contract renewal demands, and her alleged retaliation when these contractual conditions were not granted by PlayUp.

The lawsuit – called PlayUp, Inc. v. Mintas and filed in a Nevada court on 3 December – reveals that Mintas demanded a 100% increase in annual salary from $500k to $1m, as well as an increase in her PlayUp shareholding to a net 15% non-dilutable stake.

Mintas also requested to be made global chief executive of PlayUp and for the termination of employment of current global boss Daniel Simic.

PlayUp and Mintas – the defendant and the plaintiff in this case – did not reach an agreement over the terms of her renewal.

Following the rejection, PlayUp alleges that Mintas engaged in conduct directly in violation of their agreement while discussing a potential $450m sale of the business to crypto exchange FTX.

The case file states: “During the negotiations, the defendant purportedly informed FTX Limited that “there is conflict within management of PlayUp, there are systemic issues, and that the company is not clean.”

PlayUp alleges these comments ultimately caused the FTX sale to fall through.

The New Jersey-licensed operator also claimed that Mintas threatened to damage PlayUp’s reputation to gaming regulators, commercial partners and customers after her demands were declined.

Mintas also allegedly threatened to “burn PlayUp to the ground”, according to the case file.

Having examined the evidence provided, the court said the issuance of a temporary restraining order was appropriate.

PlayUp has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to be heard in a Las Vegas courtroom on Thursday 16 December.

Mintas has served as PlayUp’s US CEO since July 2020. She was previously deputy president for the US arm of data provider Sportradar and chairwoman of the strategic advisory board at Bally’s-owned sports betting tech provider Bet.Works.

About the author

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Jake Evans

Jake Evans is an NCTJ-accredited journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and sports betting industry since 2017. He is the managing editor of iGaming NEXT and has previously worked in both content and data for EGR, Stats Perform and Football Radar.

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