Venezuela president Nicolás Maduro has overturned a ban on gambling to announce the upcoming opening of the world’s first cryptocurrency casino.
The casino will be housed in the luxury Humboldt Hotel in the country’s capital Caracas, and will accept wagering only in petros, the oil-backed cryptocurrency launched by the government in 2018.
“In the Humboldt hotel … an international casino is going to open and everyone who wants to bet will bet with petro,” Maduro said in a meeting with ministers broadcast on Venezuelan state television.
He added that the revenues from the casino will be used to fund healthcare and education in a country plunged into economic crisis and under sanctions from the US.
The move marks a departure from the total ban on gambling under previous president Hugo Chavez in 2011.
The new casino will also be the world’s first to accept bets solely in cryptocurrency.
Venezuela launched the petro cryptocurrency back in 2018, linked to the country’s large oil reserves, as a way of circumventing US sanctions.
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