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Offshore Sportsbook Suspends Operations With U.S.-Based Bettors

Costa Rica-Based Online Sportsbook 5Dimes Suspends Operations With U.S. Customers Starting September 21

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A popular offshore sportsbook announced that it will suspend relations with U.S. customers.

5Dimes, an unregulated sportsbook with its headquarters based in Costa Rica, said Sunday that starting September 21, it would no longer be accepting bets from American sports bettors for an unnamed period of time.

The company sent a notice to its customers that stated U.S.-based bettors will have between now and September 25 to request their balances and that any unclaimed funds will be “transferred to a third-party claims administrator who will seek to deliver funds to the account holder.”

“5Dimes is excited to announce that is embarking on a new business venture,” read the notice. “With the evolving legal landscape in the United States, we want to take advantage of the opportunity to offer an improved online sports betting experience to our many U.S. customers.”

There are currently 18 states with active and regulated sports betting markets, with another three states that have passed legislation but are pending launch. Countless other states are in the midst of the legislative process to legalize the activity.

The move and the explanation for it mimics actions taken by certain online poker operators as the legal landscape of that market changed with the action of the U.S. government on Black Friday.

PokerStars exited the country immediately and returned funds to U.S. players. Eventually, the company was allowed to return in some markets and have a foothold in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Since the company is now owned by Flutter, the same group that owns FanDuel, it has a likely path to enter the Michigan and West Virginia markets when those open.

Other prominent unregulated online poker sites serving Americans decided to exit certain states where online poker is regulated, and also in New York and Maryland, where the Black Friday allegations were prosecuted.

But it is unclear where 5Dimes fits into a regulated American landscape as the company doesn’t have the partnerships and influence that the Stars Group has.

Nearly a year ago, the founder of the sportsbook was found dead in Costa Rica after being abducted in 2018.