SportsHandle and friends deliver another round-up of the week’s big developments in US sports betting.

5Dimes won’t have an easy road to legal US sports betting

Although Wednesday’s historic settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and offshore sportsbook 5Dimes potentially clears the way for the sportsbook’s entry into the U.S. legal market, the embattled offshore internet sports betting operator may face an uphill battle in gaining licensure on the state level.

As part of a $46.8 million settlement that absolves owner Laura Varela of criminal wrongdoing, 5Dimes agreed to discontinue a practice of accepting wagers from U.S. customers out of its Costa Rica-based office, and reorganize under a new corporate structure. Beginning in at least 2011, 5Dimes facilitated millions in illegal wagers from U.S. customers, according to a non-prosecutorial agreement reached with the Justice Department, while attempting to conceal the location and the nature of the funds. The company has agreed to forfeit more than $30 million in assets, including a 1948 George Mikan rookie basketball card, and pay a fine of $15 million.

Full story here.

The latest megadeal – Caesars/William Hill

Extinguishing speculation of a potential bidding war with prominent private equity firm Apollo Global Management, Caesars Entertainment Inc. on Wednesday announced that it had agreed to terms on the acquisition of UK-based bookmaker William Hill for $3.7 billion, in an effort to further expand its position in the rapidly growing U.S. sports betting and online gambling markets.

“The opportunity to combine our land based-casinos, sports betting, and online gaming in the U.S. is a truly exciting prospect,” Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg said in a statement. “William Hill’s sports betting expertise will complement Caesars’ current offering, enabling the combined group to serve our customers in the fast-growing U.S. sports betting and online market. We look forward to working with William Hill to support future growth in the U.S. by providing our customers with a superior and comprehensive experience across all areas of gaming, sports betting, and entertainment.”

Full story here

When will Barstool launch in NJ?

New Jersey sports bettors have 11 brick-and-mortar and 17 online/mobile sportsbooks available to them. They have no shortage of options in search of the best prices, best bonuses, or best interface when it comes to regulated sports betting, and at this point, it would be difficult for a new operator to make a splash in a market this competitive and this far along the path to maturity.

Difficult. But not impossible.

Barstool Sportsbook is live in one state — its website and app launched in Pennsylvania on Sept. 18, where it set records for downloads in its first days (not the same as funded accounts or wagering handle, of course). In partnership with Penn National Gaming, which operates 41 casinos in 19 states, the Barstool app will be expanding beyond Pennsylvania soon.

Full story here

Inside look at PointsBet’s launch at Hawthorne Race Course

STICKNEY, Ill. — PointsBet became the eighth retail sports betting operator to launch in the state of Illinois on Wednesday when CEO Johnny Aitken and Hawthorne Race Course CEO and President Tim Carey cut the ceremonial ribbon to the area where sports wagering will be conducted at the track on the south side of Chicago.

PointsBet commenced mobile operations in Illinois on Sept. 12, and signed a deal to be the official betting partner of the Chicago Bears last Friday. As allowed by the gaming expansion bill Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law in June 2019, the Australian-based sportsbook will eventually offer sports wagering at off-track betting locations in Crestwood, Oakbrook Terrace, and Prospect Heights — all located within a 35-mile radius of downtown Chicago.

Full story here