A casino in Venezuela has announced that a variety of cryptocurrencies will be accepted as payment methods. According to CriptoNoticias, the casino announced on its Instagram page that they would accept bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and tether (USDT) in addition to local currency, US dollars, and Euros (USDT). The casino has also announced that Axie Infinity game tokens (SLP and AXS) will be accepted as payment. The Ciudad Jardn casino in Maracay, which is located in the Hotel Pipo, recently reopened, creating 400 jobs.
The announcement comes after a slew of recent surprises in the Venezuelan gambling industry.
A Venezuelan lawmaker chastised President Nicolás Maduro earlier this month for approving 30 casino licenses.
The issue of casinos was used by Deputy Nora Bracho to highlight the government’s failure to ensure the country’s power supply.
“While Maduro announces the reopening of casinos in the country the National Electric System is collapsed and on the verge of a total blackout,” said Deputy Nora Bracho.
According to unofficial sources, President Maduro’s government has issued 30 casino licenses across the country. According to the government’s official Twitter account, a new inspector of the National Commission of Casinos was appointed this month, despite the lack of official information from the government. In addition, the National Commission of Casinos, Bingo Rooms, and Slot Machines (CNC), Venezuela’s gambling regulator, announced that operators with a casino license would be required to connect to a central monitoring system that would allow for real-time monitoring of all gaming activities.
The development is thought to be part of a larger reopening of the sector, which began in January 2020 when the government approved the operation of a casino at Caracas’ Humbolt hotel. All bets were said to be processed solely in petro, the country’s digital currency. At the time, President Nicolás Maduro stated that all funds raised would be used for social investments such as education and health. The new measure was designed to take advantage of the growing popularity of digital currency. However, according to local press reports, the Humboldt Casino only accepts US dollars as payment, with reports claiming that the casino’s entrance fees can reach US$100.
In the face of an ever-worsening crisis, Maduro needs to raise funds. 5.6 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2015. Venezuela’s economy continues to deteriorate. The monthly inflation rate is still over 2,000 percent, and the IMF estimates that annual inflation in 2020 will be 15,000 percent. In 2020, the Venezuelan economy is expected to have shrunk by about 26%.
Axie Infinity is an ethereum-based game akin to Pokémon trading card games. According to a Bloomberg report, the game’s creator, Sky Mavis, has seen a $485 million increase in revenue since July. The Axie Infinity Shard token (AXS) and the in-game token Smooth Love Potion are the two types of tokens available (SLP). According to Bloomberg, the majority of players are based in countries like Brazil and Venezuela, which have been particularly hard hit by Covid-19 and are experiencing currency depreciation.