5Dimes Owner Has “Had It” and Plans to Close Sportsbook Before Super Bowl, Sources Claim

  • Sources say 5Dimes owner Laura Varela is on the “verge of a nervous breakdown” 
  • A $48m federal settlement and legal fees for three law firms has hit 5Dimes hard
  • Valera “can do no more” for 5Dimes sources say, and is planning to return to the US
  • 5Dimes was one of the world’s most popular offshore sportsbooks for over two decades
Padlock on a weathered door
Despite a Herculean effort to make 5Dimes competitive as a legal US sportsbook, sources say owner Laura Varela has had enough and is planning on shuttering the site ahead of the Super Bowl. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Ontario debut unlikely

Despite a valiant effort to reform to legal US sports betting, the former giant of offshore sportsbooks will not be making a triumphant entry into Ontario after all, sources close to the firm claim.

was supposedly about to gain a license to operate sports betting in Ontario

Instead, a Costigan Media news site reported on Friday that 5Dimes owner Laura Varela is planning on shuttering the sportsbook ahead of Super Bowl Sunday. The company was supposedly about to gain a license to operate sports betting in Ontario.

Sources close to Laura Varela, owner of 5Dimes and the widow of murdered American bookmaker William Sean “5Dimes” Creighton, report her as having “had it” with the “incompetence” and is on the “verge of a nervous breakdown.” 

Redemption denied

Judging by the calls to “pour one out” on Twitter, the potential demise of 5Dimes is being met with a fond toast, a sign of the sportsbook’s popularity. Ultimately, however, popularity cuts no dice with the cash-thirsty nature of the industry.

Ontario regulation would have given 5Dimes a legal sports betting foothold in the North American market for the first time since it exited the US in September 2020. A month later, to go legit, Varela wiped the 5Dimes money laundering slate clean with the feds to the tune of $46.8m. Fast-forward to 2023 and a cash-devouring gold rush has already seen sports betting firms like MaximBet close, FuboTV drop its much-hyped sportsbook, and 888 and Unibet retreat from key US markets.

Even though 5Dimes set up a new corporate entity in Delaware, got itself fully Gaming Labs International certified, and applied for a New Jersey sports betting license, in the end, sources say, Varela’s firm was “ill-prepared to spend any additional money on other aspects of the regulatory process.”

The news source also claims 5Dimes had big legal fees to pay. There are three law firms representing 5Dimes and some attorneys are allegedly “stringing [Varela] along.”

The sources said Valera has “worked tirelessly” to keep the 5Dimes brand going, but now “can do no more” and is planning to return to the US after Sunday’s Super Bowl.

End of an era

The end of 5Dimes has been ringing through the Costa Rica sports betting industry like a death knell in recent days. The insider source even states that “5Dimes has already notified Ontario regulators of its decision to pull the plug.”

While the sportsbook is said to have around 1,000 customers, the source revealed in the event of its closing, all of them “should be made whole.”

Twitter user Zoz Claxton called the news “the end of an era.” It’s certainly a sad ending to the story of one man and his team of technical wizards who built one of the world’s most popular offshore sportsbooks, servicing US clients for over two decades.

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