$500M ICO Campaign Launched for a Floating Cryptocurrency Casino in Macau

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In what surely has to be the first case of a cryptocurrency token sale used to fund an actual land-based casino, the Dragon Corp. Macau company has launched an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) campaign to gather $500 million and build a floating cryptocurrency casino in the Eastern gambling “Mecca”. However, unlike with other casino ICOs, Dragon Corp’s prospective investors will not be able to gain some equity in the lavish new casino but will instead get their money’s worth directly on the gaming floor.

Gambling Tokens Instead of Equity

According to Business Insider, the gathered money from the ICO campaign will be used to build a super-trendy floating casino called the Dragon Pearl, which will have three main buildings and a shopping area that will circle the Macau dockside. Each Interested investor will get to buy Dragon coins from the corporation, which could later be exchanged for gambling chips at the casino.  The Dragon coins will be limited in supply and their exchange for casino chips will be non-negotiable.

Out of the raised $500 million, only 20% will be used towards the construction of the $300 million Dragon Pearl Casino and Hotel, while the remaining 80% of the cost of the casino will be financed by the government of Norway whose expertise in building sea platforms will be put to great use. Thus far, Dragon Corp has also signed four other casino operators as partners in the project which is estimated to be completed by 2020.

Chris Ahmad, CEO of the Dragon Corporation, told Business Insider that the casino is to be the “size of the MGM in Las Vegas” and have the advantage of being relocated should problems with the local economy arise.  But according to the news portal, the construction of the casino is only a “sideshow to the main event”, which is bringing the blockchain ledger into Macau’s thriving junket business.

ICO Campaigns Better Than Junket Operators

By running the campaign, Dragon Corp are reportedly trying to bypass legal hurdles Macau casinos are facing with China’s restriction on money outflow from the country.  The usual way Chinese high-rollers avoid these local restrictions is by hiring Junket operators who arrange trips to Macau, where players are likewise given non-negotiable gambling chips equivalent to the fees they pay. The chips are also not-exchangeable for cash without being used to gamble.

Once a junket travel arrangement ends, any cash winnings a gambler has collected in a casino are transported back to China where the junket company gives them back to the gambler. The usual fee charged by a junket company for such an arrangement is 5%, each way, which Dragon Corp are trying to fight fiercely by offering a 0.5% fee instead (each way) to make the ICO campaign more stimulating to prospective high-rollers.

The junket market in Macau is no small affair. According to statistics, the SunCity Group alone – the biggest single junket operator in the area – is responsible for an estimated $17 billion in stakes each month.  Some of these operators are also partly involved in shadow financing, helping build an unrealistic picture to the size of Macau’s gambling economy which is believed to be much higher than estimated.

November 22, 2017: • No Comments

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