While many countries have shown an interest in cryptocurrency in the last few years, very few have been quite as dedicated to the cause as Venezuela. Venezuela first launched its national cryptocurrency in 2018 called the Petro and since its inception, the president has been adamant about embedding it into public life. For example, it is the only currency accepted if one wishes to get a Venezuelan passport and in December 2019, their president announced that Christmas bonuses to public workers would be paid in Petro. Needless to say, Petro is not leaving Venezuela any time soon.
In yet another move to promote the cryptocurrency within the country, the president has announced that a new casino will be opening that will support both public infrastructure and Petro as a currency.
According to Presidents Nicolas Maduro, Ávila National Park’s Hotel Humboldt will soon be converted into a casino that will accept Petro, the country’s national digital currency and the proceeds of this casino will be used to support the health and education infrastructure within Venezuela.
This move is a rather interesting one on the part of Maduros as his predecessor Hugo Chavez had closed down most of the casinos within Venezuela as he had stated that they were harboring points for prostitution and crime. Only a few online platforms allow Venezuelans to gamble now but it seems this will change following the opening of the casino.
So far, some of the details and logistics of the upcoming project have not been revealed to the public such as whether more casinos will open over time and how the collection of winnings will work. Also, there has been skepticism about how viable this project is considering that Venezuela has battled hyperinflation for years and currently struggles with poor public infrastructure. While casinos can be very profitable, some are dismissive of the idea that a casino could be used to save an entire country’s infrastructure.