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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro approves crypto-run casino

Tue, 21 Jan 2020, 09:30 am UTC

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on Friday that he has approved the opening of an international crypto-run casino at Ávila National Park’s Hotel Humboldt, Bitcoin.com reported.

As per the details, the bets at the casino will have to be made only in petros (PTR). The politician’s announcement happened less than a decade after former Venezuela president Hugo Chavez ordered the closure of casinos deeming it a shelter for drugs, prostitution, and other related crimes.

“I have authorized legal bets with petros,” Pres. Maduro said. “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.”

To wager in the casino, customers would be able to exchange several cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies into petros. Maduro said that anyone can come to bet and they will find offers and special prices.

"You buy your petro tokens, you can buy them if you bring yuan, if you bring yen, dollars, euros or any other cryptocurrencies … buy your petros and make your licit bets allowed by the state as contemplated by national laws," he said.

Maduro officially launched the controversial state-backed cryptocurrency 'petro' in February 2018 in a bid to evade the financial sanctions imposed on the country. The United States banned the cryptocurrency in 2018 with President Donald Trump signing an executive order that prohibits transactions in any Venezuelan government-backed crypto by any U.S. person or within the national borders.

Despite this, Maduro continues to promote petros. Last week, Maduro made a big announcement ordering Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), a state-owned oil and natural gas company, to only accept petro as payment for their fuel.

“I decree the sale of all fuel sold by the PDVSA for planes operating international routes be made in petros from now on. [W]e are opening roads to the new economy. We are building a world for the peace and integration of people, their happiness and improvement,” the president said.

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