Aiming at regulated market?
Offshore sportsbook 5Dimes says it will cease business with customers in the US in an apparent move to try to access the burgeoning regulated market.
According to reports from LegalSportsReport and others, 5Dimes is closing up shop while hinting at future plans in the US market. However, other reports on forums and Reddit raised suspicion about its intentions after 24 years of operating offshore.
Several 5Dimes customers reported their accounts and pending wagers were transferred to another sportsbook, Betanysports. Others said they were not offered such a move and were advised to claim any balances before Sept. 21.
A quick glance a Betanysports shows a site layout and betting options that are similar to those found at 5Dimes. Customer service reps have denied any ownership connections between the brands which, if true, could point to the brand 5Dimes attempting to enter the US market minus its offshore past.
That would similar to the path followed by PokerStars, where a legal settlement with the US Department of Justice was followed by a sale of assets or brands or software and then acquired by an unrelated party. That would preserve the brand, which has been trusted as fair with lines and reliable with payouts since 1996, for entry to the US sports betting market as it evolves in the next few years.
Naysayers and skeptics feel the similarities and the easy switch from 5Dimes to Betanysports is indicative of a company trying to go ‘straight’ while also maintaining its current customer base. When some customers asked for options on switching accounts from 5Dimes to another operator, however, customer service did not recommend or offer Betanysports.
It’s the second pioneering offshore sportsbook operator to hit the news in a week. Earlier, BetCris signed a deal with Major League Baseball for promotion in Latin America, where CRIS (Costa Rica International Sportsbook) has focused since leaving the US market in 2006.
This is a major story and bears watching over the next few weeks. There will be plenty of commentary from clients, especially if anything happens that they don’t like. Other online operators remained in the US space, but have begun blocking residents of certain states that have legalized sports betting.