Costa Rica-based offshore sportsbook operator 5Dimes has issued notice to customers that it will cease taking bets from US customers effective from September 21. The move is being viewed by some industry observers as a signal of intent by the firm to go legitimate within the US sports betting market.

The missive, circulated this week, clearly suggests a new approach from the firm. It said: “5Dimes is excited to announce that it is embarking on a new business venture. With the evolving legal landscape in the United States, we want to take advantage of the opportunity to offer an improved online sports betting experience to our many US customers. 

“In order to do this, we need to suspend temporarily our service of the US market so that we can launch our new operations with a fresh start.” 

With a cessation of betting as of September 21, customers have been given until September 25 to withdraw funds from their accounts. Any funds remaining after that date will be transferred to a third party administrator which will attempt to pass them back to bettors.

5Dimes’ notice concluded on a cryptic note, saying: “We apologize for this inconvenience. We wish we could tell you everything about our future plans, but for now, please stay tuned and know we will soon reward your loyalty with extraordinary gaming experiences.”

The firm’s decision to “temporarily” withdraw its service from US bettors will leave the industry guessing as to its next move. Becoming fully licensed to operate there will require state-by-state applications, the outcome of which is going to be hard to predict.  

Commenting on the development, Legal Sports Report noted: “The sudden switch also reflects the growing pressure on the offshore market as regulated US sports betting expands. Last year Bovada and BetOnline stopped taking bets from New Jersey residents.

“Of course, offshore books still maintain an important role in setting early lines for books throughout the world. But it remains to be seen where 5Dimes will fit in the market going forward.”