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Kevin Gausman of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Detroit Tigers in the fourth inning of their MLB game at Rogers Centre.
Kevin Gausman of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Detroit Tigers in the fourth inning of their MLB game at Rogers Centre. Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images/AFP.

The recognizable but troubled betting brand 5Dimes has made its departure from the European market official, closing both online betting sites and on May 29. A message on its main site partially said: "We will permanently discontinue accepting all types of wagers on our websites, and, as of 11:59pm GMT-4 today [May 29th]."

5Dimes was founded in 1996 and was one of the first black-market bookmakers to make a splash with American bettors. At that time the best sportsbooks weren't available to U.S. and Canadian sports bettors, other than unregulated offshore books. 5Dimes was a huge part of filling that void. Despite being illegal for use among U.S. bettors, 5Dimes thrived and became a global brand to watch.

Circumstances have since all but halted 5Dimes' momentum. The murder of its founder, the overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in the U.S. in 2018, and the inability to gain traction in new markets have been dragging down the company, leading to an unfortunate announcement.

It wasn't all doom-and-gloom in the 5Dimes message Monday. The company said in its statement that it was “ill-prepared to spend any additional money on other aspects of the regulatory process." However, it appears 5Dimes is moving forward with attempts to launch in the highly successful North American market.

“We must let go of this part of our business to center our attention in the Americas regulated market jurisdictions we aim to target in the future," the 5Dimes team said in an email to current users.

Movie-like History

The 5Dimes European closure announcement is just the latest in a string of unflattering reports out of the company’s camp. The Costa-Rica based sportsbook's bad fortune has been well documented, starting with the kidnapping and murder of founder William Sean “5DimesTony” Creighton in 2018. 

Creighton's wife reportedly paid a $1 million cryptocurrency ransom, but it wasn't enough to save the company founder from the gang of kidnappers, which included two police officers.

5Dimes' bad luck continued with the company pulling out of the U.S. market in 2020 and paying $46.8 million to American authorities to wipe the slate clean in that jurisdiction. The path to legalization and regulation in the critical U.S. market took a major hit with the admission of illegal practices and the ultimate payment of $46.8 million.

On shaky ground, 5Dimes has been able to stay somewhat relevant since 2020 despite reportedly being on the “verge of a nervous breakdown.” Some may view the closure of 5Dimes' European markets as a shock, but there was no denying the inevitability of the announcement.

Where 5Dimes users go from here

5Dimes seems to be doing its best to accommodate European users.

"Your satisfaction and trust remain our top priorities," the company said in an email to users. "Any funds held in your player account will be honored and promptly paid out in accordance with our commitment to you. Please note that wagers with a settle date after May 29 will be voided, and the stakes will be promptly refunded to your account."

As far as withdrawing funds from a 5Dimes account, the company is also doing the right thing for its clientele.

"The website’s cash-out feature will remain accessible for 12 months to allow all customers ample time to withdraw their balances," the site said. 

Ontario bound?

5Dimes hasn’t totally closed the door on offering its gambling services. The company's goal now is to become part of the regulated North American market, starting with Ontario, which has become a top-five performing jurisdiction in North America.

“Keep in mind that we are currently in the process of registering in Ontario, where we will offer our renowned betting products, games, and services that you have come to enjoy," 5Dimes said in a press release. "Once we receive approval for our Ontario license, we will promptly notify you. The wait will not be long, so we kindly ask for your patience."

"Once we are ready to launch, anticipate exciting bonuses and promotions as our way of celebrating this new chapter," the statement continued. "We are committed to providing you with an exceptional gaming experience as we embark on this new venture in Ontario."

If Ontario goes well, 5Dimes could be back as a relatively big global player. But questions remain. Will 5Dimes get that regulatory approval in Ontario? Will their brand catch on in a saturated market? Will Ontario create momentum for the 5Dimes brand to expand into other North American markets?

It is wait-and-see time in the 5Dimes universe. One chapter of the company's existence is now closed, with another potentially opening.