After heavy speculation, offshore online betting site 5Dimes has officially applied for a gaming license in New Jersey. This was revealed by Laura Varela, the widow of founder William Sean Creighton.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday, Varela said that gambling industry lawyers in Philadelphia and Washington are currently working to transform 5Dimes into a licensed and legitimate online betting site in the United States.
Although the New Jersey Division of Gaming refused to confirm the application with the Philadelphia Inquirer, no road block is seen that will prevent the legalization of 5Dimes after a Federal investigation cleared Varela of doing illegal business.
Settlement With Feds
Last month, 5Dimes entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The agreement stemmed from the federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, specifically the EDPA for illegal gambling activities. But after William Sean Creighton’s death in 2018, Varela contacted the the EDPA to resolve any issues with 5Dimes.
Varela, who took over 5Dimes after her husband’s demise, was cleared of any wrongdoings. According to the investigation, she did not exercise day-to-day authority over the operations of 5Dimes although she claimed responsibility for its assets. As part of the settlement, 5Dimes has agreed to forfeit $46M worth of illegal property to the federal government.
In fulfillment of its part of the deal, 5Dimes stopped its U.S. operations last September 30th and since then, it has been working its way to get a legal license to operate in the United States. New Jersey is just the first stop and they are planning to get licenses in other states as well.
Murder of Creighton
West Virginia native Creighton founded 5Dimes in November 1996. Because online gambling was still illegal in the United States, it operated as an offshore betting site with its license from Costa Rica.
In September 2018, Creighton’s Porsche Cayenne was flagged by two bogus policemen. He was kidnapped and taken to San Jose. Varela was able to pay $1M of the $M bitcoin ransom demanded by the kidnappers before their line of communication was cutoff. One year later, Creighton’s dead body was found in a small fishing village 100 miles from where he was abducted.
Since his death, Creighton’s widow has taken over the reigns at 5Dimes. While her husband faced charges of tax fraud, money laundering, illegal gambling, and payment fraud, Varela worked hard to legitimize 5Dimes. With online betting sites now legal in the United States, she hopes to return with a clean slate and a new license.