President Nicolas Maduro announced Friday the opening of a new crypto-casino in his troubled Venezuela. He said that Ávila National Park’s Hotel Humboldt, would soon become the home of the first ever casino in the country to operate with Petro (PTR). The Petro is the country’s state-backed crypto-currency developed to try and go around economic sanctions put in place by the U.S.
The proceeds from the casino will be used to fund Venezuela’s public health and education sectors according to President Maduro. The announcement comes less than a decade after former president Hugo Chavez ordered the closure of all betting establishments in the country. His reasoning was that the places had become dens of prostitution, crime and hard drugs. Since the ban, gambling places have become taboo and only a few online platforms have enabled Venezuelans to gamble.
The president did not give specifics on the exact location of the casino and did not even mention its official grand opening date. A lot of questions are in the air about this crypto casino. Will it require guests to exclusively use the Petroapp? Will it have crypto ATM’S? How will players collect their winnings? All these questions remain unanswered for now. Perhaps a more pertinent question is whether the casino will raise enough capital to support the ailing education and public health sectors.
The Maduro- led government has fronted plans to save the ailing economy before. Last week he announced plans to sell 4.5 million barrels of oil of its state-run oil and gas company, PDVSA for petro. According to the president, this sale will help the country “open roads to the new economy” and build a world of “peace and integration of peoples, their happiness and improvement.”
Despite the president’s many efforts to resuscitate an ailing economy, the sanctions have token quite a toll. Thousands of people have fled the economic chaos and thousands more are looking to leave.