5Dimes applies for New Jersey sports gambling license
By Bob Garcia
The sportsbook is pushing forward with its goal of entering the legal US sports gambling space
5Dimes continues its plan to go legal by applying for a New Jersey gambling license, according to owner Laura Varela. Her husband, William Sean “5Dimes Tony” Creighton, was kidnapped and murdered in 2018, leaving Varela in charge of the company.
Varela agreed to a settlement of $46 million with the US government, which had investigated her husband for money laundering and tax evasion, a move that was meant to pave the way for the sportsbook’s entry into the legal US sports gambling market. If New Jersey approves the license request, 5Dimes will have plenty of reasons to celebrate.
Varela said she has gambling industry lawyers in Philadelphia and Washington working to transform 5Dimes into a legitimate, licensed, tax-paying sports betting company, during an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. The New Jersey Division of Gaming enforcement (DGE) declined to discuss 5Dimes’ application when contacted by The Inquirer.
The federal government found that Varela had not been part of the illegal business in Costa Rica. “The Department of Justice understood. I felt their sympathy throughout this long process,” Varela told the Inquirer. “I am very, very happy and very excited the agreement reflects the fact that I was never involved in any of the wrongdoing,” Varela said. Her husband, Creighton, was facing charges of tax fraud, money laundering, illegal gambling, and payment fraud charges when he was murdered in Costa Rica during kidnapping for ransom attempt.
Mike Lowe of the Department of Justice’s economic crime unit said Creighton was close to accepting the charges and cooperating with the government when he was kidnapped, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Creighton’s Porsche Cayenne was stopped by two men posing as police in 2018, when he was kidnapped. Varela is believed to have paid $1 million of the $5 million bitcoin ransom demand, but Creighton’s body was not found for nearly a year.