Can an Offshore Giant Operate Legally in the U.S?



One of the biggest names in the offshore betting community closed up shop in a move they call temporary. It remains to be seen if it’s possible but we will take a closer look to see what the future may hold for 5Dimes.

Sudden Closure Alarming to Customers
A few weeks ago, 5Dimes told their customers in the United States that they would be suspending their service. The bookmaker that is based in Costa Rica asked customers based in the United States to withdraw their balances by Sept. 25, which is a show of good faith to their customers. According to the statement, they will continue to service their international customers. As far as offshore sportsbooks go, 5Dimes is one of the best sportsbooks according to Sportsbookreview.

The way in which this news was delivered has led to incessant speculation. The truth is the statement released by 5Dimes seems like it was intentionally vague. In essence, the statement eluded to the fact that they would be “relaunching the company into a better one for our customers, and to do it properly, we need to suspend service to U.S customers, but it is only temporary.” Does that mean that they will try to enter the new legal U.S betting market? Is that even possible given their history as one of the leading offshore bookmarkers?

Is it Possible for an Offshore Company to Reinvent Itself?
There are so many different factors that would have to be involved with 5Dimes trying to operate legally in the United States. First of all, this is only speculation at this point. Nobody from 5Dimes has made any further comments beyond its initial statement notifying their customers of the changes being made. With that said, they opened the door for this type of speculation by insinuating that they needed to close the door to American customers temporarily to be able to service them properly.

If you’re looking for another example of an offshore company that was able to make the move to operating legally in the U.S, there aren’t many. The only example that comes to mind is PokerStars, which got shut down back in 2011 by the Department of Justice. Today, PokerStars operates legally in several U.S jurisdictions under the umbrella of a larger group called Stars Group. That is a unique case and the truth is, there is one major obstacle that faces a company like 5Dimes.

One of the biggest arguments used by politicians and lobbyists that are on the side of legalized gambling in the United States is combating offshore gambling. With that in mind, it is highly unlikely that these same entities would welcome one of the biggest offshore operators into the market with open arms. They are more likely to not want to have anything to do with a company like 5Dimes. If they did, you would have to imagine that everyone currently associated with the company would have to go.

Nothing About This Move Is Simple
The truth is, we don’t know what 5Dimes intentions are although the widow of their former owner has made a statement alluding to the fact that the company will try to enter the legal betting market. Her husband was familiar to the U.S government before his death, having been accused of laundering $2 million in 2016 by federal prosecutors. That does not bode well for 5Dimes future although it would have to be assumed that if they did try to make the move, they would be under completely new management, similar to what PokerStars had to do in order to even be considered.

It is highly unlikely that this move will happen because of all of the legal complications. That said, if 5Dimes were able to accomplish the feat of becoming legitimate in the U.S, that could open the door for other offshore books to make the move of “going legit.” While lawmakers would love it if offshore companies ceased their operations, it remains to be seen if they would be willing to overlook their past transgressions. That’s asking a lot and there isn’t much evidence to show that they would be willing to do business with companies that blatantly broke the law.

In terms of how it would affect gamblers, it would be less than ideal. More options in any market is a good thing. Having the federal government completely controlling sports gambling means paying taxes that offshore bettors don’t really have to consider. Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for companies like 5Dimes moving forward.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor