As McGill adapts to online learning, so does one of the school’s oldest traditions – OAP (Open Air Pub), which is turning into Open Air Casino this year. The first of its kind in the nation’s history, it is a full-service online casino entirely owned and operated by student volunteers.
For legal reasons, the server room must be located off-campus. Somewhere on the Cayman Islands, to be more exact. In order to keep out hackers, money launderers, and other uninvited guests from accessing the student-run entertainment venue, guests must log in using their McGill credentials and all transactions will go through McGill Student Accounts.
“Your tuition account is the casino account. All transactions will be billed to your McGill account at the end of the month,” says the coordinator who requests anonymity. “For maximum flexibility, you can even bet with your financial aid grants or student loans. As long as it’s money sitting in your student account, you can use it.”
In a statement issued by the university accounting office, it says that the university supports expanding entertainment options for students, but refuses to comment further.
OAC management team has pledged that all proceeds will be securely deposited into an offshore account in Jersey for yet-to-be-determined charitable purposes. “It is our tradition here at OAC to donate all proceeds, 100%, to a charity of our choice, which we will determine later. We have a team of lawyers working out the details,” says the coordinator. “We are also implementing industry-leading security measures to comply with all applicable international anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering regulations.”
However, not everyone welcomes the dramatic shift in OAP’s business model. Some students have accused the organization of conspiring to steal money from fellow classmates. “All the games are rigged. There is no regulation or oversight. My friend and I loaded like $3000 into the account and we lost it all in one day,” one student complaints on OAC’s Facebook page. Some others call it the latest proof of the “out-of-control FROSH scene.”
Open call for comments: Do you support or oppose Open Air Pub becoming a Casino? Talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Select comments will be published next week.