Francesco Corallo positions himself among the great philanthropists

POSTED: 03/5/14 10:32 AM

Public relations offensive by casino mogul on internet

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – Out of left field a series of stories have surfaced on the internet that portray Francesco Corallo, owner of the Italian gambling imperium BPlus Giocolegale and of the Atlantis World Group in Cupecoy as one of the world’s great philanthropists. The name of the Dutch-Italian entrepreneur appears in a list with the American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, oil billionaire J. Paul Getty and software billionaire Bill Gates.

The British website timetalk.co.uk published a story on February 28 under the headline “Famous philanthropists who used their fortune for goodwill.”

At the top of the list are Bill and Melinda Gates, followed by musician Sir Cliff Richard, actor George Clooney and the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who “gave much of his fortune away to causes involved with world peace.” Carnegie also built hundreds of libraries and Carnegie Hall in New York.

Immediately after Carnegie, Corallo pops up as one of the famous philanthropists. “He makes significant contributions to a range of charities, and a recent Italian court update on Francesco Corallo prohibited the police and the Minister of Internal Affairs from linking him to the mafia.”

Immediately after Corallo follow the names of J. Paul Getty, Howard Hughes and country singer Dolly Parton. The same story popped up the same day on the website supanet.com.

Remarkably, the lifestyle website John Simon Daily also published an article about this subject. Headline: ‘Notable Philanthropists in the Media This Year.” Right now, the article mentions only six of them: Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren investor Buffet, financial wizard George Soros and Facebook-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

However, up to a couple of days ago there was another name on this list: Francesco Corallo. This newspaper sent an email to John Simon Daily with a few questions about Corallo. This is what we wrote: “I noticed that you have mentioned Francesco Corallo as a philanthropist – between Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. That is really interesting, given the fact that Corallo has mainly been in the news for the past 2.5 years for his legal troubles with Italian justice. Could you please explain to me what the philanthropic achievements of Corallo are?”

The site posted its article on February 27 and we sent our email the following day. When we checked yesterday, Corallo’s name had been removed from the site. John Simon daily opted not to reply to our email. Also remarkable: none of the articles shows a decent picture of Corallo.

However, the post on that site triggered more questions, because it claimed that Corallo was supporting the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and that he also worked with the Bill Clinton Foundation.

This newspaper asked both foundations last Monday via email whether they know Corallo and if so, to which extent they receive support from him. Up to now we have not received any response.

In what seems to be a flurry of public relations activities, four websites linked to Corallo popped up as well – francescocorallo.it,   francescocorallo.co.uk, francescocorallo.org and francescocorallo.com.

The franscescocorallo.it website contains a biography under the headline “Philanthropic Work of Francesco Corallo.” The biography describes Corallo as “a well-known entrepreneur in the Italian gaming industry. “ He has always dedicated time and passion to philanthropic activities, offering support to several non-profit initiatives,” the biography states.

It mentions his marriage to Rita Villanueva, a National Geographic photographer, whose work focuses on poverty in Central and South America. The biography states that Corallo supports the foundation for the children of Guatemala and the Children’s Burn foundation of Guatemala – a charity dedicated to the care and support for children with burn wounds.

Corallo furthermore states in this bio that he supports the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. “This support stems from his recognition of the dangers of the deterioration of the environment around the world, including climate change, dwindling water resources, and the need to maintain biodiversity.” Part of the foundation’s activities is the wood forever Pact, an initiative to support sustainable development.

“With his roots in the entertainment industry, Francesco Corallo is a valuable resource as the Prince Albert II of Monaco foundation attempts to expand its sustainable development activities to hoteliers in Monaco.” The wood forever Pact “persuades businesses to use timer resources in construction that come from sustainable resources.”

Corallo also “cooperates with the Bill Clinton Foundation, another institution dedicated to environmental issues around the world.”

The website francescocorallo.org contains an article, posted on September 20, 2013, headlined “Francesco Corallo’s keys to business success.”

The article mentions that Corallo was born in Catania in 1960, and repeats his links to the above mentioned charities. Then it states, “Francesco Corallo ensures that all of his companies abide by a policy of corporate social responsibility. Furthermore, it refers to his focus on “finding and recruiting top talent” as a key to his success.

Innovation is another “critical element.” As an afterthought the article notes that Corallo’s company is “a top provider of gambling machines in Italy, with almost 100,000 machines in operation around the country.”

On October 22, 2013, the site posted a second article about the benefit of technological advancements. But the most remarkable part of the site sits under a button labeled privacy policy. In reality this page contains the “web site terms and conditions of use” and they are brutal. “If you do not agree with any of these terms, you are prohibited from using or accessing this site,” the rather threatening text reads.

One of the no-o’s the site imposes is this one: Permission is granted to temporarily download one copy of the materials (content or software) for personal non-commercial transitory viewing only. You may not use the materials for any commercial purpose, or for any public display.” In other words, we should not have written this article.

 

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