International sportsbook site 5Dimes is now attempting to set up domestic sports betting operations within the state of New Jersey following a $47 million settlement with the US Department of Justice.
Popular sports betting companies DraftKings and FanDuel have already set up shop in New Jersey, partnering themselves with pre-existing casinos and building their sportsbooks inside of their facilities.
5Dimes is eager to get a piece of the $3 billion-plus handle that New Jersey sports betting has taken in this year so far.
NJ tax revenue intake has scraped that total to the tune of $200 million, and local legislators recognize the benefit that those dollars can bring to other public projects that are in desperate need of attention.
Laura Varela is the owner of 5Dimes Sportsbook, and although she is eager to infuse her brand into the Atlantic City sports betting landscape, her intention is to spread out into other markets across the United States.
Varela is the widow of 5Dimes founder, Tony Creighton, who was the victim of a botched kidnapping that resulted in his death just two years ago.
Two months ago, Varela settled her case with the US Government that alleged the offshore betting site had been involved in money laundering schemes and had provided fraudulent tax documents that did not accurately reflect their financial activities over the given periods.
Varela has insisted all along that the disreputable fiscal practices at 5Dimes occurred outside of her knowledge and is hopeful that the large settlement will pave the way toward better relations with US gambling authorities.
Now that the coast is clear, New Jersey appears to be eager to bring the sportsbook into the state and attract its millions of customers and over $1 billion in annual sports betting handle.
But just how many of those dollars will actually travel with 5Dimes to New Jersey is in doubt by many analysts, as the Garden State represents a very small portion of their international profits.
The move seems to be more focused on the branding power of 5D and the intent is likely to direct traffic to New Jersey casinos and their more profitable offerings like slots and table games.
In actuality, people that are interested in sports betting in Newark are probably more familiar with the 5D brand than those in Atlantic City, and that is the point. They’ve got branding power that reaches sports bettors that exist outside of traditional gambling strongholds.
If Varela’s offshore sportsbook can break through the glass ceiling and establish legitimate operations in the United States, the template could be mirrored by other major international brands that are interested in entering the US market.
Although there are no federal laws on the books that state that international betting sites can’t accept wagers from US-based patrons over the Internet, major offshore sportsbooks will need to play by current regulations in place and curtail their operations.
That means they’ll have to adhere to the regulations of each state that they serve, and cannot operate with the freedom that they do when offering betting odds from an international location.
The sports betting world will be paying close attention to the development of this deal between 5Dimes and New Jersey, as it appears that both parties are all-in.
Source: The Philadelphia Enquirer