Dragon Corp. is raising $500 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, the Business Insider reported.
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. “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.”
Gamblers will buy Dragon crypto-coins and then exchange those for non-negotiable chips, Ahmad said. Dragon coins – which will be in limited supply – thus have two sources of demand: Gamblers who buy them to wager in the floating casino, and ICO investors who are buying the coins because they think it will go up in price like Bitcoin (EXANTE: Bitcoin) or Ethereum (ETH/USD).
Dragon is also going to charge a fraction of the costs that traditional junkets add. Typical junket fees are 5% each way.
“We charge 0.5% [each way], taking only 1%. It’s much quicker, cheaper, faster, more transparent,” Ahmad says. “You have full ownership of the tokens. It’s better in all aspects,” Ahmad said
“If you think about it casinos are one of the best investments you can do,” he added.
20% of the ICO fundraising will go toward construction of the $300 million Dragon Pearl Hotel Casino, which will float in the sea. The other 80% of the cost is being financed by the Norwegian government, Ahmad says, which has a particular expertise in building offshore platforms due to its experience in the North Sea oil and gas business.
“The floating hotel project provides a project that was unique, provided a tangibility in terms of asset value,” Ahmad said.
“Definitely. It’s not on land. If you wanted to move it, if economic problems arise, we could move it somewhere else,” Ahmad said. That would be an interesting feat of seamanship because, he said, “it’s the size of the MGM in Las Vegas.”