Who would believe it but 5Dimes Pays Illegal Gambling Settlement of $46 Million. As one of the most popular offshore online casinos catering to players in the United States, some might argue that 5Dimes was a sitting duck when it came to a US Department of Justice investigation. As the inquiry into the betting site was wrapped up this week, 5Dimes has found itself subject to a $46.8 million settlement.
What Has 5Dimes Done Wrong?
According to the Department of Justice, 5Dimes has accepted wagers from and paid out winnings to US online gamblers since at least 2011. This will hardly surprise anybody familiar with the offshore betting industry, as 5Dimes is one of the most recognizable operators out there. However, the funds involved – reportedly worth $46.8 million – are judged to have been obtained illegally, with the operator attempting to hide the location and source of those proceeds.
The transactions are in violation of Title 18 of the US code with gambling-related offenses. Including wire fraud, money laundering, and the illegal transmission of gambling information. Not all of the $46.8 million was settled in liquid cash, though. The Department of Homeland Security Investigations seized $3.4m. $715,000 in rare coins, a George Mikan rookie card worth more than $400,000, and $2 million which was seized by the Costa Rican authorities, make up most of the settlement. Laura Varela (owner of 5D Holdings) also agreed to pay an additional $15 million.
The Future of 5Dimes and Illegal Offshore Casinos
Loopholes in US gambling law have allowed offshore gambling sites to flourish, although the authorities in the US have still deemed such companies and operations illegal. As the United States slowly begins to legalize online gambling in various states, the desirability of offshore casinos such as 5Dimes is gradually waning. For investigators, holding 5Dimes to account was very much seen as now or never.
Unsurprisingly, 5Dimes has announced its intention to walk the straight and narrow in the future. 5Dimes has already incorporated 5D Americas LLC out of Delaware. The idea is to legalize 5Dimes to players residing in Delaware, according to the state’s own internet gambling laws and regulations. The operator is also in the process of applying for a New Jersey gambling license. However, with a lengthy list of citations and criminal activity now attached to 5Dimes, many inside the industry do not believe that 5Dimes will be successful in legitimizing its online gambling activities for US-based players. Even thou 5Dimes Pays its fines, the US will never let them run a real money sportsbook.