Judge Dismisses Temporary Restraining Order in Countersuit of the Former US CEO of Australian Online Gambling Company PlayUp

A Nevada court decided to dismiss the initial temporary restraining order issued in the legal battle between the Australian online gambling operator PlayUp and Laila Mintas, the company’s former chief executive officer in the US.

US District Court Judge Gloria Navarro made a decision to rule against the preliminary injunction she had originally issued after additional information was presented to her in the course of the countersuit filed by Ms Mintas. In her lawsuit, the ex-US CEO of PlayUp claims that the initial legal action started against her by executives of the Australian online gambling company was based on false statements.

In December 2021, an ex parte restraining order against Ms Mintas was issued by Judge Navarro based on the plaintiff’s claims for a threat that seemed very real at the time. Several weeks ago, the Judge stated that the plaintiff had failed to prove that the defendant violated the non-disparagement provision of her employment agreement and concluded that it was as likely or even more likely that the actions of Daniel Simic were the ones that actually caused the irreparable termination of the negotiations.

In her latest ruling, US District Court Judge referred to a couple of emails from the cryptocurrency firm FTW, which was in the midst of negotiations for the takeover of PlayUp. These two emails, however, had not been presented to the court at the time when the gambling operator made its initial claims that Ms Mintas had sabotaged the deal to a point of no return.

Laila Mintas Seeks $75 Million Worth of Damages in Countersuit

As it became clear at the time of the new resolution of Judge Navarro, one of the emails sent by Ramnik Arora, head of product at FTX, to Daniel Simic and Michael Costa, global CEO of PlayUp and co-founder of the Australian gambling company, respectively, indicated that the talks for the negotiated $450-million transaction failed following an intervention from Simic.

Reportedly, Mr Simic decided to get PlayChip, a gaming company operated by him at the time, involved in the negotiations and asked for a further $170 million – $65 million for bonuses to key staff members of PlayChip, including himself, and $105 million for PlayChip. Apart from that, his decision not to renew the contract of Laila Mintas created the impression there had been a lack of communication and mistrust between the Australian operators global and US assets. Based on these concerns, FTX decided to withdraw from further pursuit of PlayUp’s full acquisition for the time being.

Another email was sent to Mr Simic by FTX after a meeting took place in The Bahamas on November 15th, 2021. Based on the electronic piece of communication, Judge Navarro stated there was a lack of evidence that the former chief executive officer of PlayUp’s US business had made disparaging statements to FTX officials as it was initially claimed by the Australian online gambling operator.

In her countersuit, Ms Mintas claimed that the legal action filed by PlayUp and seeking an ex parte temporary restraining order against her aimed at making her the person to be publicly blamed for the FTX’s decision for a negotiations break-off and save some executives’ backs from shareholders’ wrath.

The legal representative of Ms Mintas also claimed that the Australian online gambling company made efforts, including through the lawsuit, to cast a shadow over the defendant’s reputation in a desperate move to avoid a potential legal action by PlayUp’s shareholders. Her attorney claims that the litigation cause “irreparable harm and damages” to the defendant’s reputation and she had faced direct, incidental and consequential damages of the action. Ms Mintas’ lawsuit seeks damages worth $75 million.

  • Author

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.
Daniel Williams
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