Maduro’s gamble: can casino socialism save Venezuela’s broken economy? | World

Players are huddled around the roulette table at the just-opened casino in the Tibisay Hotel, on Venezuela’s Caribbean island of Margarita. At one end sits a sweating, burly man with a red baseball cap. Everybody calls him “the captain”. As the silver ball he is gazing at plonks into a black slot he bangs the table, and laughs. He has lost his entire stake.

“Dame más” — give me more — he says, signaling to an assistant. The flunky heads off to the cashier, where he exchanges several crisp US$100 notes for another fistful of chips. It will not be the last time this night that his boss decides to double, not quit.

Such scenes of decadence are becoming increasingly common in what some call

Read more…