A legal sports betting operator shrouded in controversy is looking to enter a new market.
Costa Rica-based sportsbook 5Dimes has applied for market access in Ontario, which launched sports betting and iGaming in 2022. 5Dimes, which owns offshore online betting sites, is seeking approval for a license from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and iGaming Ontario.
“Once we are ready to launch, anticipate exciting bonuses and promotions as our way of celebrating this new chapter,” 5Dimes said in an email. “We are committed to providing you with an exceptional gaming experience as we embark on this new venture in Ontario
As a result of its application in Ontario, 5Dimes has discontinued all of its offerings in Europe.
5Dimes seeking market access in Ontario comes after the sportsbook ceased operations in the U.S. in September 2020. The operator shuttered its U.S. business after it agreed to a more than $46.8 million settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The settlement resulted from a criminal investigation into 5Dimes’ sports betting operations in Costa Rica, which illegally allowed bettors in the U.S. to place wagers. The probe into 5Dimes found that the sportsbook had been allowing illegal wagering from at least 2011 until 2018.
The ceasing of European operations also comes following the death of owner Laura Varela's husband and 5Dimes founder William Creighton in 2018.
5Dimes is poised to reap the benefits of an emerging sports betting market in Ontario. The province had a total betting handle, which included sports betting, casino gaming, and poker, of $13.9 billion (Canadian currency) in fiscal Q4, up from $11.5 billion for the previous quarter.
By my count, and based on the @iGamingOntario directory, 5Dimes would be online sportsbook #32 in the province if it's approved. That includes OLG's PROLINE+, but doesn't include Coolbet, which exited Ontario's regulated market. https://t.co/sMioLRK4Mc— Geoff Zochodne (@GeoffZochodne) May 30, 2023
Total gaming revenue from sports betting and iGaming in Ontario reached a record $526 million during the fourth quarter. In fiscal Q3, total gaming revenue was $463 million — a previous high.
Despite the encouraging results, Ontario is still finding its footing as a sports betting operator. Earlier this month, OLG CEO Duncan Hannay called for a “better balance” of sports betting ads, while the Canadian Mental Health Association of Ontario wants a ban on Ontario betting ads.