Can you play casino games in Venezuela using cryptocurrencies? What are the best games and bonuses. Find out in our VE crypto gambling guide.
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Gambling in Venezuela is legal despite the country’s dire economic circumstances. It was legalized back in 1997. What is more, crypto gambling is booming in this Latin American state after the government created its own digital currency, the Petro. We will tell you more about this in the paragraphs below. Before that, however, let us elaborate on the legal framework of gambling in Venezuela.
As we already stated, the country legalized casinos back in 1997. However, land-based gambling venues were available to Venezuelans before that. There were four brick-and-mortar casinos operating within the country. That was possible thanks to special permissions issued by the authorities.
The year 1997 marked the government’s attempt to regulate the sector and bring more revenue into the budget. While the market did liven up for some years following the reform, the poor economic conditions and the coronavirus took a heavy toll on it. As of now, there is a limited number of land-based casinos in Venezuela. In the past, there were hundreds of off-course sports betting facilities, many of which are now closed, too.
The situation is not much different with online gambling, either. Although it was legalized in 2012, and two local Internet platforms launched at the time, the niche did not flourish as expected. However, sporadic access to the Internet and the poor quality of the connection has slowed down the growth of the online gambling sector.
Not only are cryptocurrencies available in Venezuela, but the country has also made history, along with El Salvador, in the adoption of digital assets in Latin America.
Following long years of hyperinflation, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro made a momentous move. He proclaimed the country was dropping the ties of its official currency, the bolivar, with the US dollar and was tying it to Bitcoin instead.
What is more, in 2018, Maduro also announced the creation of Venezuela’s very own cryptocurrency, the Petro. It is now widely used for crypto gambling online, among other things.
Going back to the overall landscape of digital currency adoption within the country, statistics show that 10.3 % of Venezuelans own some form of digital assets. Crypto in Venezuela is mostly used to counter the negative effects of inflation. Its wide adoption was reflected in a 2020 report by the company Chainanalysis. The latter researches blockchain transactions. Chainanalysis ranked Venezuela third on its Global Crypto Adoption Index.
While President Maduro is not viewed with much trust among the global crypto community, Venezuela is becoming a Latin American leader in developing a digital token economy. True, the driving factors behind the country’s crypto revolution are hyperinflation and instability. However, in the long run, the results may be more positive than anyone might have thought initially.
Venezuela’s history of gambling is long and convoluted as well as marked by unexpected twists and turns. To begin with, the European settlers brought gambling back in the day as a fun pastime activity mainly for the upper classes. However, regular people soon developed a palette for it, too. That is how games of chance became widespread across the country and gained a huge following.
In more recent history, the place of gambling in Venezuelan society has shifted throughout the years. Initially, it was illegal because it was viewed as a capitalist vice. However, gambling establishments of different sorts still existed mainly for the entertainment of tourists. In the 1990s, four fully-fledged land-based casinos operated with the government’s permission.
In 1997, the state decided to take a turn and legalized gambling. As in most cases, the idea was to limit criminal activities and gain more revenue. In 2012, online gambling was legalized as well. Two local Internet operators applied for and obtained licenses. However, they did not stay in business for long.
The general problem facing gambling operators in Venezuela has been the exacerbated economic and political situation. The Covid pandemic made things even worse, compelling many gambling operators to close.
Nonetheless, there is still hope on the horizon. Several factors contribute to the possible revival of the Venezuelan casino industry. We will discuss them in the section below.
Despite the turbulent past of the casino sector in the country, it seems like brighter days are coming for Venezuela’s gambling operators. President Maduro, unlike his predecessor Hugo Chavez, has been more lenient towards the wagering industry. He has managed to maintain his leftist stance while bringing back casinos in an attempt to secure more revenue for the state.
Maduro has also been open to creating a digital asset economy. He tied the bolivar to Bitcoin and launched Venezuela’s own crypto, the Petro. Needless to say, today’s online casino world is largely driven by cryptocurrency. In addition, although the two primary local gambling sites went bankrupt, Venezuelans can still enjoy many offshore online casinos.
Given the dire economic circumstances in Venezuela, the locals are notorious for often turning to gambling in an attempt to earn some additional income. However, we all know that gambling cannot be treated as a way of making a living. Therefore, this section focuses on Venezuela gambling as a means to entertain oneself rather than get rich.
That said, players in Venezuela are much into sports betting, with football being the most popular sport. This is far from surprising for a Latin American country, where football is almost a religion.
Another common trend across the countries on the continent, Venezuela included, is the possibility to bet on blood sports. Bullfighting and cockfighting are legal in the country. Nonetheless, such activities are not officially organized.
Venezuelans are keen on lotteries, too. You can buy a variety of scratchers and tickets from the numerous physical points of sale. You can do so online as well. Talking about online games of chance, local players are much into slot machines, just like fellow gamblers all over the world.
Poker, roulette, and blackjack are also among the most preferred games of Venezuela players. They enjoy them in land-based casinos when possible and – more frequently – by visiting online gambling sites. Live games are particularly attractive to most local gamblers.
Online casino bonuses are every player’s top concern. This fact is even more valid in a country torn by economic instability like Venezuela. Online casino players here are typically on extremely low budgets, so every bonus counts.
In this line of thought, online casinos in Venezuela are trying their best to come up with promotions that offer both generous financial conditions and not too restrictive terms. Venezuela players can choose from a significant variety of welcome packages, cashback promotions, tournaments, competitions, loyalty programs, and more. It goes without saying that in a market so poor, no deposit bonuses are the hottest type of deal.
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