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Tags: venezuela | casinos | dollars | poverty

Venezuela Looks to Casinos, US Dollars for Economic Recovery

Venezuela Looks to Casinos, US Dollars for Economic Recovery
Venezuelans buy produce and vegetables in Maracaibo, Venezuela ,on Nov. 9, 2021. (Humberto Matheus/Sipa via AP)

By    |   Thursday, 18 November 2021 02:16 PM

The Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela has turned to casino gambling and U.S. dollars in hopes of an economic boost, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

Thirty casinos are now licensed to operate in the country where the socialist government had once banned gambling, and 12 more are set to open.

Army generals oversee casinos with names like Bellagio, Baywatch, and Hotel Dubai,  according to the Journal.

"This is a bet toward the future," said Soraya Roye, a former gambling executive who trains workers for the revamped industry. "The government realized that they had to change and diversify the economy."

And the U.S. dollar, which was not welcomed in Venezuela because the regime considered it a tool of imperialist control, is now considered the de facto national currency, the newspaper noted.

In addition, business owners say they are benefiting from the lifting of price controls on basic goods and tariff-free imports.

The Journal reported there are virtually no tax enforcement on businesses and individuals.

Citing data from ImportGenius, Toyota SUVs from Dubai, refrigerators from China, and liquor from Panama’s free-trade zone are coming into the country.

The newspaper said Venezuela’e economic collapse may have finally bottomed out. The gross domestic product will jump anywhere from 5% to 10% in 2021, marking the first year of growth since Maduro took office in 2013.

"I can’t say things are going great," said Brayan Riera, a 32-year-old resident of an east Caracas slum. "But I finally feel like the earth isn’t collapsing under my feet."

Still, a study by Encovi found that more than 90% of Venezuelans lived below the poverty line in 2020.

Meanwhile, representatives of Venezuela’s government and opposition agreed in September to find ways to deal with the pressing needs of Venezuelans, especially in combatting the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press reported.

In a joint statement, the two sides said they will "establish mechanisms for the restoration and achievement of resources to meet the social needs of the population with special emphasis on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic."

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The Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela has turned to casino gambling and U.S. dollars in hopes of an economic boost, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
venezuela, casinos, dollars, poverty
340
2021-16-18
Thursday, 18 November 2021 02:16 PM
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