PlayUp obtains TRO in response to charges of contract breach

PlayUp obtains TRO in response to charges of contract breach

A Nevada court has issued a temporary restraining order against PlayUp US CEO Laila Mintas regarding an alleged contract breach. 

PlayUp CEO Laila Mintas in hot water

The presiding judge granted the order in part, arguing that while PlayUp could not give adequate evidence that Mintas violated trade secret laws or confidentiality agreements, they recognized that she may do the business “irreparable harm.” 

Mintas has responded, categorically refuting the charges and promising to defend himself in court. It comes from the collapse of talks to sell the business to cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

PlayUp, a sports betting and DFS firm based in Australia, hired Mintas to lead its US subsidiary in July 2020. The division has since received approval to open in Colorado and New Jersey. Mintas committed to a “confidentiality, non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disparagement” clause as part of her contract. Under this condition, she was prohibited from disclosing confidential information about PlayUp except in the course of performing her duties as US CEO in “good faith.”

Further, the condition said that Mintas was prohibited from engaging in “any activity or making any claims or representations that degrade, portray negatively, or otherwise impair the company’s reputation or commercial interests.”

Mintas and PlayUp began contract negotiations in November. According to the statement of PlayUp, Mintas requested that she succeed Daniel Simic as worldwide CEO during these negotiations. Additionally, she asked that her income be doubled to $1 million, and her stake increased to 15%.

PlayUp asserted that Mintas “acted in action directly in violation of [her contract]” due to its refusal to accept Mintas’ requirements. Mintas allegedly called Sam Bankman-Fried of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which was in the process of acquiring PlayUp’s Australian business for $450 million, warning him of “structural concerns” and that “the firm is not clean.”

PlayUp contends that these statements eventually resulted in the collapse of the contract. In addition, the operator asserts that Mintas “jeopardized PlayUp’s reputation with gaming regulators, commercial and business trade partners, and customers.”

It claimed that Mintas “threatened to ‘burn PlayUp to the ground’ on November 10.” Mintas had sufficient access to PlayUp’s technology, documents, operations, data, and contracts, according to an advisor to the operator’s board of directors. As a result, PlayUp filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada on November 30. It asserted claims for breach of contract, the implicit covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of the Nevada Uniform Trade Secrets Act, among other comparable statutes.

It filed an emergency application for a temporary restraining order with the intent of “preventing irreparable injury for the duration of the hearing, and no longer.” The operator contended that continuing to grant Mintas access to PlayUp data would endanger the firm irreparably.

Gloria M. Navarro, the judge, did not believe PlayUp had established enough evidence that Mintas had breached any trade secret laws or confidentiality agreements. She noted that any statements alleged to have been made by Mintas lacked specific information that could be classified as confidential.

Contract Violation

She acknowledged, however, that Mintas very likely violated her contract by criticizing the company and may have violated the non-compete agreement through private conversations with FTX. As a result, Navarro concluded that PlayUp was likely to prevail in a breach-of-contract proceeding.

Having established this, Navarro examined whether Mintas could inflict “irreparable harm” to PlayUp in the absence of a restraining order. She determined this was likely based on the “burn PlayUp to the ground” statement.

Navarro also noted that the disadvantage of declining to issue a restraining order was more significant than the disadvantage of publishing one.

“If Mintas does not follow out her threats to propagate false information about PlayUp, enforcing this temporary restraining order will have no adverse effect on Mintas,” the court stated. “On the other hand, even if Mintas slanders PlayUp’s reputation and standing, enforcing this temporary restraining order will not jeopardize Mintas’ interests.”

Navarro imposed a temporary restraining order as a result. Its conditions prohibit Mintas from “engaging in any action or making comments or representations that degrade, depict in an unfavorable light, or otherwise undermine plaintiff PlayUp’s reputation or economic interest.”

About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.