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5Dimes Acquires OFFICIAL Isle of Man Gambling License

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Many people know of the 5Dimes gaming brand as being one of the leading global operators in the online gambling industry. Originally based in Costa Rica, the brand provided its services to various locations around the world, including the United States at one point. Things went a little bit awry with the platform being targeted by the Department of Justice (DoJ) though. Scenes reminiscent of Black Friday occurred, and 5Dimes ended up pulling out of the American market.

However, in a bid to reinvent itself and offer a much more legal setup, 5Dimes has recently acquired an official gambling license. Instead of relying on the questionable Costa Rican license it previously held, the brand has now secured itself a license in the Isle of Man – a much more reputable jurisdiction. Could this mean that we will see it return to the U.S. market with a licensed and regulated setup?

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The Story So Far…

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An investigation was launched into 5Dimes and its founder, William Sean “5Dimes Tony” Creighton in 2016. Spearheaded by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, attempts were made to link 5Dimes and Creighton with various crimes. These included illegal gambling violations, money laundering, wire fraud, and associated criminal behavior.

Rather than it becoming a huge issue though, 5Dimes came to an agreement with the DoJ at the end of September 2020 as many people expected. As part of the settlement, 5Dimes agreed to pay over $46.8 million in assets to the authorities from its online casino, sportsbook, and poker room proceeds.

5Dimes had opted to stop accepting wagers from the U.S. market on Sept. 21, 2020. The explanation given at the time was that it needed to restructure and launch new operations with a fresh start. From that, it was thought that the brand was considering re-entering the U.S. market with new licensing and regulation. Of course, with a huge cloud of criminal investigations surrounding 5Dimes, this would have been impossible.

While Creighton was originally under investigation alongside the 5Dimes brand, he was not the one who came to the conclusion of a settlement with the DoJ. Unfortunately, he was kidnapped and held for a $5,000,000 ransom in Costa Rica in 2018. Despite the ransom money being handed over to the kidnappers, his remains were discovered in a cemetery a year later, buried in an unmarked grave in Quepos. It was left to his widow, Laura Varela, to discuss the agreement terms with the DoJ.

Laura VarelaLaura Varela, Widow of Slain 5Dimes Founder William Sean Creighton

In the end, Varela potentially received much more favorable treatment than Creighton ever would have, considering she had little to do with the 5Dimes site while her husband was running it. It was also noted that once she took control of the brand after her husband’s death, she sought to resolve the federal investigation and change the company’s operations so as to comply with U.S. law enforcement.

Speaking on the outcome of the agreement, Varela issued a press release via 5Dimes, stating:

It has been a very difficult two years for me and my family. But today marks a pivotal turning point and a fresh start for me and the 5Dimes brand, as well as a milestone for the legalization of sports gaming in the U.S. My husband's death was tragic, but he loved 5Dimes and all of its loyal customers. Now his spirit will be able to live on as the 5Dimes brand begins this new chapter. Along with a team of trusted advisors, I am exploring how we might relaunch 5Dimes as a legal sportsbook and casino in the legal, regulated U.S. market to continue serving our many loyal customers.

5Dimes Moving Forward

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On Feb. 10, 2021, 5Dimes made the announcement that it had re-launched its online sports betting and casino products via an Isle of Man gambling license. With this being a prime location for online gaming, the platform sits in a better position now than it ever has before. With the approval from this jurisdiction, the company has a basis upon which it can build and expand its global footprint. And further to this, it marks a huge step towards its potential return to the U.S. market as well.

The Isle of Man local market is now able to benefit from the online casino and sports betting options that 5Dimes is able to provide. Of course, this does not grant it direct access to the United States. It does put it in good stead though. With an official and reliable license from a respected jurisdiction, this may cast a more favorable light upon 5Dimes in U.S. states looking with licensed sports betting, poker, and casino options for their residents.

Speaking once more for the 5Dimes company, Varela commented on the acquisition of the new Isle of Man license, saying:

This licensure is an exciting milestone for the 5Dimes brand. The Isle of Man is a Tier-1 jurisdiction, known for its advanced approach to gambling and e-gaming legislation and its exceptional reputation in the international gaming community. The Isle of Man sets high standards for its gaming operators and players, and we look forward to upholding the same level of principles and innovation with the launch of 5Dimes

Now, the brand is going to start operating in the Isle of Man, setting up a management and operations team within. This will oversee the re-launch of the company, which was only made possible thanks to Varela’s agreed deal with U.S. authorities especially considering that the funds for such came from both the company’s proceeds as well as Varela’s own money.

Numerous jurisdictions will be able to benefit from the online gambling opportunities that 5Dimes provides, thanks to it securing the license from the Isle of Man. It is, of course, the company’s end game to start operating in the U.S. market once more.

Legal U.S. Sportsbook Still Firmly in Sights

As noted, the Isle of Man license has little effect on the company’s intent to re-enter the U.S. gambling scene. However, it was only in October of 2020 – just one month after Varela’s settlement with the DoJ – that she spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer. At that time, she spoke of the fact that 5Dimes had applied for a license in New Jersey that would allow it to set up its operations within. However, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement had little to say on the matter when it was contacted for a comment.

To add to that, the brand filed articles of incorporation in the state of Delaware. It can therefore be said that the platform is intending to return to its former glory days, and the hope is that this can occur in more than one state.

Should the brand be permitted to re-enter the U.S. market in one or more states, the likelihood is that it would become a major player. Considering that it used to be one of the biggest US-facing offshore platforms, 5Dimes is used to handling masses of bets per year.

And with its customer database swelling to over one million players, it is possible that the company will be looking to bring some of those bettors back. Of course, it remains to be seen how other regulated operators will react to its return should it happen. There is a potential for them to start screaming about an unfair advantage, considering the database was compiled while 5Dimes was supposedly flouting U.S. law.

Varela has spoken of her excitement at being able to welcome loyal customers back to the site though. Not only does she want them to return and see the familiar 5Dimes platform but to also bear witness to the future expansion of the company in legal and regulated markets. The company has stated that it intends to provide a broad e-gaming product, catering to both large and small bettors.

Whether or not it happens is another question. Many customers were quite upset with how the brand was forced to shut down in September with only a short time period for them to request payouts from their accounts. Could that count against 5Dimes in the long run?

Other Accessible Online Gambling Options


While 5Dimes is not currently offering its online gambling services to the United States, several other brands are. If you're searching for a sportsbook that's ready to accept your action, then check out this list of the top internet bookmakers for Americans.

If you would rather participate in online poker, why not read the guide to the best offshore U.S. poker sites?