Venezuela is set to open the world’s first state-run cryptocurrency casino and as a world first it will accept only cryptocurrency.
President Nicolás Maduro has overturned a gambling ban put in place by President Hugo Chavez in 2011 to facilitate the launch of the state-run casino.
The casino will be in the capital city Caracas in the Humboldt Hotel, and the President is claiming the profits from the casino will go the social projects.
Patrons at the casino will be able to change multiple currencies and cryptocurrencies for the Petro cryptocurrency, which will be the only token used within the establishment.
The Petro Cryptocurrency
The Petro is the state cryptocurrency that is supposedly back by Venezuela’s oil reserves. It was launched in 2018 in order to help Venezuela get around sanctions from the U.S.
The U.S. has banned the use of the Petro, but within Venezuela Maduro is trying his best to get it off the ground. Only last month he announced that the sale of all fuel sold by Venezuela’s state-owned energy company must be done using the Petro.
Maduro also pushed the Petro onto state employees who had their bonuses paid out in the state-backed crypto, and he also instructed that nationals pay for state documents like passports and driving licences in Petro.
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The Petro Casino Open to Everyone
The casino is another attempt by Maduro to make use of the Petro. In an announcement on state TV, President Maduro said, ‘I have authorized legal bets with petros. For example, in the Hotel Humboldt, there will be an international casino and everyone who wants to bet will bet with petros, all those resources will enter the state for health and education.’
It’s a promise that won’t easily be swallowed by Venezuelans who have seen their economy and society disintegrate and the Bolivar hyperinflate by more than 11,000,000%.
Maduro was pitching the casino to world tourists that he hoped would come trickling back to Venezuela. ‘You can bring your Yuan, Dollars, Euros,’ he said in a hopeful pitch to entice the international tourists. ‘Buy your Petro and make licit bets allowed by the state.’
It’s a complete turnaround by the authoritarian leader, who seems desperate. Former President Chavez banned casinos and even bingo halls in 2011, but now Maduro sees it as a way for the Petro to gain adoption.
It wasn’t announced whether this would be the only casino allowed in the country, and it isn’t known how patrons will be able to access the Petro once in the casino. There’s a Petro app for locals to use, but it’s unlikely international tourists would want to download it.
The Petro is a Shitcoin, and We Shouldn't Encourage It
President Maduro has completely messed the Venezuelan economy up. The country is supposed to have the biggest oil reserves in the world, but the economy is in freefall.
These casino and Petro propagandizes seem like a desperate attempts by him and a few other corrupt politicians in a bid to maintain control while enriching themselves while the rest of society evaporates is simply wrong.
The Petro is a shitcoin, but it remains to be seen whether Maduro can heap it upon Venezuelans enough before he completely loses control.
Author: Tommy Limpitlaw