US customers have two weeks remaining
Popular Costa Rica-based online sportsbook 5Dimes is withdrawing from the United States market. Rumors of locked accounts started bouncing around the internet on Sunday and by late Monday, it was made official, as US customers were met with a notice upon attempting to log in. 5Dimes also sent customers an e-mail explaining that it will stop taking bets from American players at midnight on September 21.
The internet sportsbook did explain why it was pulling out of the US, but the reason was a bit cryptic.
so that we can launch our new operations with a fresh start.”
“With the evolving legal landscape in the United States, we want to take advantage of the opportunity to offer an improved online sports betting experience to our many US customers,” 5Dimes said. “In order to do this, we need to suspend temporarily our service of the US market so that we can launch our new operations with a fresh start.”
Customer funds are safe, but players must cash out by midnight on September 25. Those who do not meet the deadline will have their funds transferred to a “third-party claims administrator” who will then attempt to send money to where it belongs. If customers do not claim their funds by September 30, 2021, the money will be considered abandoned.
Future US plans unknown
The big question is what 5Dimes is planning for its “new operations” in the United States. It sounds like the 5Dimes intends to relaunch as a legal, licensed company in states where sports betting is legal. The problem there, one would assume, is that it has accepted American customers illegally for years, so getting regulators to give the company the thumbs-up might be difficult.
may take some time before they will even be able to be licensed or operate.”
Global Market Advisors consultant Brendan Bussmann told SportsHandle.com that it is good that 5Dimes seems to want to emerge from the unregulated shadows, but: “For those that have operated online or fantasy sports illegal in the past, some regulators have a long memory and it may take some time before they will even be able to be licensed or operate.”
Some states have “bad actor” clauses written into their regulations, which either prevent companies that previously skirted state and federal laws and accepted US customers from operating entirely or penalize them in some way. Illinois, for instance, has a “penalty box” clause, making online-only operators wait 18 months from when the first license is issued to apply for licenses of their own.
Legalization put pressure on offshore books
The natural result of the US Supreme Court overturning PASPA in 2018 was that individual states started to legalize sports betting. What also happened, though, was that several offshore operators, those not licensed in the States and therefore technically operating illegally, felt the pressure to get out. 5Dimes is not the first to withdraw from the US market.
Bovada, one of the operators that most thumbed its nose at US regulators over the years, stopped accepting New Jersey customers last year. BetOnline did, as well.
One of the most interesting operators is BetCris, which withdrew from the United States market after the passage of the UIGEA in 2006. It still does not accept US customers, but is now making moves within the American sports world. In July, it was named the official Latin America wagering partner of Major League Baseball, and on Tuesday, it announced a similar deal with the National Football League, two days before the start of the season.