While clearing out an old wooden chest, I came across some ‘Havanas’, one of which is pictured here.  They had currency, one might say, quite a few years ago at the Havana Club in Almaty.  It was a disco that long was a magnet for the expatriate crowd in and around Almaty.

The Havana Club was located in the basement of that building on the grounds of the Rahat Palace Hotel that is immediately to the right just after going through the front entrance gate.

The club was new, large, and flashy, with a super long bar, a balcony above and an impressive entry staircase.  Inside, drinks and goods were purchased using ‘Havanas’, plastic coins in different denominations that were purchased when entering the club.  Unfortunately, the business came unstuck when the owners hired a strong-willed bouncer who offended so many people that they migrated their nocturnal business elsewhere.

I missed news of the club’s closing and thus got stuck with my unspent Havanas.  Reminds me of how countries make a kind of profit when they change their legal currency.   People forget to search carefully for the old notes and coins and fail to exchange them for the new currency.  The owners lose some of their value which means the issuer gains value.

I wonder how the owners of the Havana Club treated my unspent Havanas when the club closed.  You know, if you buy tokens like the Havanas, the seller needs to acknowledge on his accounting books that he has a liability to perform services or sell goods of equivalent value.  The money he received is not yet income.  So when he unilaterally prevents the redemption of the tokens by closing the business, does he consider that the liability has been cancelled, thereby producing profit?  And maybe incurs some tax?

Or is the owner, to avoid the profit and the tax, still waiting to hear from me?

What do you think? Do you have some Havanas which became worthless the day the Havana Club closed for business?  Shall we form a committee to demand justice?


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