Last Updated on December 15, 2021
Dr. Laila Mintas, the U.S. CEO of PlayUp, an Australian sports betting firm with sportsbooks in New Jersey and Colorado, discussed the company’s lawsuit against her with Action Rush and said “all the claims mentioned in the fillings are wrong.”
Mintas told Action Rush through an email that her lawyers are working on filing a response to the lawsuit against her.
Makes ‘No Sense’ To Disparage PlayUp
According to the lawsuit, filed in a U.S. District Court in Nevada on Nov. 30, 2021, PlayUp alleges their U.S. CEO, Dr. Laila Mintas, actively harmed a business deal involving PlayUp after the two parties did not agree on the renewal of her next contract. She then threatened to disparage PlayUp to several other companies if her contract requirements were not granted.
In comments to Action Rush through email, Mintas said she is a major shareholder in PlayUp, with over seven-figures of her own money invested in the company. It makes no sense, she said, for her to disparage the company and try to destroy a deal to sell.
The suit alleges FTX, a cryptocurrency-exchange company located in the Bahamas, and PlayUp entered into negotiations earlier this year for FTX to purchase $450 million in assets from the company. The lawsuit alleges that Mintas contacted Sam Bankman-Fried, proprietor of FTX, and informed him that “there is conflict within management of PlayUp, there are systemic issues, and that the company is not clean.”
Mintas denies ever making these remarks.
“It makes no sense that I would have made any of those comments that are quoted in the filing or tried to destroy a deal to sell PlayUp as I would have benefitted from that as well as all other shareholders,” Mintas told Action Rush.
The plaintiffs alleged in the lawsuit that Mintas reached out to Bankman-Fried due to PlayUp not offering her a new contract. Per the lawsuit, Mintas requested in negotiations that she be appointed Global Chief Executive Officer of PlayUp and the current Global CEO, Daniel Matthew Simic, be fired.
Mintas claims PlayUp is in possession of an email from FTX that sheds lights on why the company rejected the deal to purchase PlayUp.
“The company is in possession of an FTX email stating the facts why FTX rejected the deal which I will submit to the court which clearly outlines the reasons on the Australian side of the leadership team as the deal breaker,” she said.
During her leadership with PlayUp over the last two years, Mintas said she built “the PlayUp USA business from scratch” and has created a valuation of over $400 million alone because of the U.S. market. Her hard work and great team led many in the industry to call PlayUp USA a “sleeping giant” in the industry, she said.
U.S. District Court Judge Gloria M. Navarro granted PlayUp’s motion for a temporary restraining order against Mintas, ordering her to not engage in any form of conduct or make statements or representations that disparage PlayUp in a negative light. She agreed that Mintas likely breached her employment agreement when she stated that “FTX made (her) an offer to do something directly with them,” and that she believed she could take various licenses with her. This is a direct breach of the non-competition provision of her employee agreement, Navarro noted.
However, Navarro did not agree with PlayUp’s allegations that Mintas had threatened to misappropriate the company’s trade secrets and proprietary business information in violation of her employment confidentiality agreement. Navarro wrote in her judgment that PlayUp did not “provide specific evidence showing that Defendant (Mintas) used Confidential Information to stop the FTX sale.”
A hearing on the temporary restraining order has been scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 16.
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