82.4 F
Cruz Bay
Sunday, May 19, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsCasino Commission Gives Green Light to VIGL Operations for Racetrack Casino

Casino Commission Gives Green Light to VIGL Operations for Racetrack Casino

The Casino Control Commission voted Thursday in favor of approving the initial license application for VIGL Operations LLC to operate a casino at the Randal "Doc" James Racetrack on St. Croix. (Source photo by Diana Dias)
The Casino Control Commission voted Thursday in favor of approving the initial license application for VIGL Operations LLC to operate a casino at the Randal “Doc” James Racetrack on St. Croix. (Source photo by Diana Dias)

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission approved the initial license application for VIGL Operations LLC to operate a casino at the Randal “Doc” James Racetrack on St. Croix.

The vote was witnessed by about 20 people at the Casino Control Commission office in Orange Grove. VIGL was also approved for a two-year renewal of the current license it holds for its operations at the Caravelle Hotel and Casino. This comes after a hearing that was held on behalf of the Casino Control Commission in February to listen to testimonies.

After the decision, the Casino Control Commission Chairman Marvin Pickering shared some thoughts, stating, “… an initial application is for a period of one year and then it’s renewed for a second term. Next year it will be renewed for two years.”

Referencing the application process, Pickering said, “The investigation was lengthy and exhausting. The initial reports of the commission had some issues. So, we requested supplemental reports and after that we had to go back and make sure the commissioners were all comfortable with making a favorable decision, and that was achieved.”

Flamboyant Park Horsemen Association President Elroy Bates Jr. shared some optimism, but also concern. “I’m happy but concerned. I’m not sure how much VIGL can get done in a year,” he said.

CFO of VIGL Andrew Dubuque shared his excitement about the commission’s decision and expressed his willingness to move forward and work with the Casino Control Commission.

“We are very excited that the Casino Control Commission and the Division of Gaming Enforcement and all the staff that have worked so hard to get us where we are today. This is exactly what we need to move forward. We have been at this since 2016 and then the hurricane and pandemic happened. Since then, essentially, we have been working towards this day to keep going,” he said.

Dubuque continued, “I’m a businessman and I am motivated to get things moving. There’s a reason why the Casino Control Commission and Division of Gaming Enforcement are here. They are here to make sure everything is according to the act and laws. We are excited for this opportunity.”

In attendance was Senate President Novelle E. Francis Jr., who said, “I feel good about the decision, and I hope it’s a path forward. We have been waiting for a long time for this to be made so we welcome the decision. The ball is in VIGL’s court at least for what they promise to deliver at the Randall ‘Doc’ Racetrack.  I implore them to at least make a start. I know that things are rather difficult now in terms of construction and they are in a race for time.”

Francis also thanked the Casino Control Commission for its decision and said that the Senate will do whatever they can from their end to move the project forward.

Members of the Casino Control Commission include Pickering, Commissioner Carolyn P. Hermon-Percell, Commissioner Luther F. Renee and Executive Director Linda I. Smith.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

UPCOMING EVENTS