5Dimes Seeks to Enter Legal New Jersey Sports Betting Market

The widow of deceased 5Dimes founder Sean “Tony” Creighton is seeking to obtain a sports betting license in the state of New Jersey after entering into a $47 million settlement agreement with the US feds and shutting the book down to the US market.

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Creighton was kidnapped and killed two years ago in Costa Rica where 5Dimes is based. At the time, feds were probing his business for money laundering activity tied to the unauthorized payment processing of Amazon gift cards.

Creighton was close to a guilty plea on tax, money laundering, illegal gambling and payment fraud charges when he was kidnapped, Mike Lowe of the department’s economic crimes unit confirmed.

His widow, Laura Varela, had been running the business since Creighton’s disappearance. The settlement also vindicated Varela from any wrongdoing.

“The Department of Justice understood. I felt their sympathy throughout this long process,” said Varela. “I am very, very happy and very excited the agreement reflects the fact that I was never involved in any of the wrongdoing.”

5Dimes alone handled billions in bets each year, and could significantly enlarge New Jersey’s industry if it brings a chunk of that business to the state, according to industry experts, writes Joseph N. DiStefano of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

But 5Dimes also cancelled many outstanding future bets in their haste to shut down to the US market. This along with the money laundering activities could put a damper on the company’s plans. State law governing sports betting requires a company have “good character, honesty and integrity.”

“We have no comment,” said Leland Moore, spokesman for New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, whose office oversees the Division of Gaming Enforcement that handles applications from online gambling companies.

– Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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