- Dragon Corp wants to raise $500 million from an ICO that will finance a floating casino in Macau.
- The digital coins will be exchangeable for non-negotiable gambling chips in the Dragon Pearl Hotel Casino.
- Or buyers can hold the coins as they fluctuate in value.
- The company got some bad publicity when a convicted gangster showed up at one of its events.
Some people think that cryptocurrency initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a bit of a gamble. Here is one that is 100% gambling: Dragon Corp. tells Business Insider it is raising $500 million (£377 million) in an ICO that will give its buyers cryptocurrency coins that can be exchanged for non-negotiable gambling chips in a yet-to-be-built casino that will float at a dockside in Macau.
Buyers won’t get equity in the casino. Just gambling chip tokens.
Needless to say, there are some risks.
The territory of Macau has not authorised Bitcoin services, China recently banned ICOs, and gambling debts are not enforceable under Chinese law. The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, the jurisdiction where investors will have to file if legal disputes arise.
So the regulatory framework is … complicated.
And, to the embarrassment of Dragon, a convicted gangster — “Broken Tooth” Wan Kuok-koi, who served 14 years in prison for loan sharking and money laundering — showed up at a signing ceremony staged by Dragon to launch the ICO.
“Broken Tooth is not involved in Dragon,” CEO Chakrit “Chris” Ahmad told Business Insider just before Web Summit, the tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal. “Do we know him? We know of him. We know him. Not to a great extent. He came to the event introduced by someone else as a prominent figure in Macau … He is not involved in Dragon and he is not financing Dragon in any way.”
On paper, however, the Dragon ICO seems like a really good idea.
Macau’s casinos are surrounded by a legal barrier that makes them very different from those in Las Vegas, London, or Monaco. China has strict laws preventing its citizens from moving cash out of the country…