International edition
September 22, 2021

After a decade closed

Venezuela's government agrees to casinos' return, enables 30 gaming licenses

Venezuela's government agrees to casinos' return, enables 30 gaming licenses
Nicolás Maduro, president of Venezuela.
Venezuela | 09/02/2021

At the beginning of 2020, President Nicolás Maduro approved the return of recreational activities in gambling halls, despite the regulation established a decade ago by the late President Hugo Chávez, who decided to close casinos and bingo halls in the country.

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n 2011, former president Hugo Chávez ordered the absolute closure of casinos and bingo halls, considering them “sites of doom” that were only useful to enrich the “bourgeoisie”.

That measure left about 100,000 people unemployed, according to a 2012 report by the Union of Bingo and Casino Workers of Venezuela (STBCV - for its initials in Spanish).

The Venezuelan newspaper Tal Cual explained that despite the criticism and the failure to comply with the promises of economic reinvestment, President Nicolás Maduro is currently preparing to reinstate gambling as he has authorized the reopening of 30 casinos in the country.

"These establishments are expected to open their doors from next week," read the published article.

It should be noted that the topic of reopening came up in December 2020, when the President announced the opening of an “International Casino at the Humboldt Hotel”. In fact, several videos were made viral in which people were seen playing on the premises, but the Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro was not used, as it had been previously said to promote the use of cryptocurrency, it rather was quite the opposite. The game that marked the restart of activities was a poker tournament, in which bets are made in dollars.

Within this context, the Ciudad Jardín casino, located in the Hotel Pipo of Maracay, Aragua state, recently reopened its doors and held "a full house" inauguration on the night of August 31.

According to local press reports, the casinos that will soon open their doors will be those in Caracas (Hotel Dubai, Waldorf, Conami, Tamanaco and the casino which transferred from Hotel Humboldt's to the Eurobuilding); Miranda (Coliseo, Macaracuay, La Cáscara, La Urbina and Buenaventura); Nueva Esparta (Charaima, Caribe Plaza and Concorde); Lara (Tiuna, Lidotel and Jirajara); and Aragua (Platinum and Ballagio, in addition to the Ciudad Jardín at the Hotel Pipo, which already opened).

Zulia's gaming halls (Del Sur, Maruma and Inter de Maracaibo) have also been added to the list; Bolívar (Roraima and Guayana); Falcón (Baywasht, Tucacas); Carabobo (Inter de Valencia); Anzoátegui (Sun Casino); Barinas (Center Llanos) and Portuguesa (Eco Inn).

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