Macau gaming company Dragon Corp. is looking to raise half a billion dollars through an initial coin offering (ICO), in an effort to integrate blockchain technology into the world's largest gambling market.
The tokens issued in the ICO would be utilized by VIP junket operators, which are middlemen who act as facilitators for the multi-billion dollar casinos, by offering credit on behalf of casino operators.
"This is the first time anybody has allowed the public to invest in a public junket or become a shareholder of a casino," said Chakrit Ahmad, CEO of Wi Holding, the Thai-based company behind the blockchain technology. "You're basically becoming a shareholder in a junket, utilizing blockchain technology, getting revenues from that, and plugging that back into the token."
The offering comes as Beijing begins a crackdown on so-called cryptocurrencies.
Among those backing the coin offering, according to a Tuesday report in the South China Morning Post, is Wan Kuok-koi, a 61-year-old who served 14 years in jail for "an array of gangland crimes."
That alleged connection, which CNBC was unable to confirm independently, could increase regulatory interest in the deal. Ahmad of Wi Holding was not immediately available to comment on the South China Morning Post report.