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Anti-doping bill for USVI horse racing industry now law

The anti-doping bill for the horse racing industry establishes anti-doping statutes to be enforced by the Virgin Islands Horse Racing Commission in the horse racing industry, and allocates funds received from the racino tax. Photo: VIC

FREDERIKSTED, St Croix, USVI- Acting Governor of the US Virgin Islands (USVI) Osbert E. Potter has advised Senate President Myron D. Jackson of the action he has taken on several legislative bills, including measures that should allow a $30 million private investment in the USVI's horse racing industry to move forward.

Mr Potter, who’s acting as governor until Governor Kenneth E. Mapp returns to the territory, approved Bill No. 32-0093, which establishes anti-doping statutes to be enforced by the [US] Virgin Islands Horse Racing Commission in the horse racing industry, and allocates funds received from the racino tax.

“As we continue to build our horseracing industry, this measure further ensures the integrity of the industry in the territory,” Mr Potter wrote in the transmittal letter.

A landmark agreement was ratified last year with local casino operator VIGL to revitalise the territory’s horse racing industry, however, amendments to the enabling legislation required approval by senators in order for the project to move forward. The agreement, which aims to create dozens of new jobs and make the US Virgin Islands the region’s premier destination for horse racing, calls for nearly $30 million in private capital to build modern state-of-the-art racetracks and related facilities on both St Thomas and St Croix.

In November 2017, Mr Mapp made a fourth formal request to senators to move the necessary legislation, in the form of Bill No. 32-0092 and Bill No. 32-0093, which prohibits doping of horses and consolidates the territory’s two horse racing commissions into one body.

The acting governor also signed into law Bill No. 32-0155 and Bill No. 32-0165, which improve the safety of marine areas in Estate Cruz Bay on St John and Estate Coakley Bay, East End “B” Quarter on St Croix, respectively.

Bills vetoed

And he vetoed Bill No. 32-0054, which would have granted the supervisor of Elections the authority to set places, days, and times for early voting. Mr. Potter wrote that early voting allows electors to exercise their fundamental right to cast a vote in elections and this fundamental right should not be compromised. He pointed out that the bill removes statutory mandates already in existence and leaves the early voting structure to the discretion of the supervisor of Elections and the board.

In explaining his veto of Bill No. 32-0102, Mr. Potter said it requires more analysis on the impact it will have if enacted into law by repealing the provisions that allow persons who are receiving a retirement annuity from the Government Employees Retirement System (“GERS”) to return to work for the Government of the US Virgin Islands without making contributions to the GERS. The acting governor did agree that issues plaguing the GERS should be addressed, but he cautioned the Legislature against far-reaching measures that lack proper impact assessment on the territory’s service provision and retiree protection.

“While I believe that it is absolutely necessary to for us to address the GERS unfunded liability, we must do so in a manner that is clear and designed to adequately address the issues plaguing the GERS,” Mr Potter wrote.

5 Responses to “Anti-doping bill for USVI horse racing industry now law”

  • wize up (12/01/2018, 17:46) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    fun done !!!!
  • POPE (12/01/2018, 19:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bvi needs this whenever we get a race track again
  • 1284, 4 life (12/01/2018, 19:56) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Tola maan don't use drugs,natural speed so we good to go , right case close
    • 1 284 494 (13/01/2018, 20:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      U so silly. It’s a law now in USVI. Not the BVI. So when those guys come over here to race against us, what what do u think they will do? Especially if we don’t too? Premeir’s cup and purse money gone again
  • Bigs (14/01/2018, 15:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    284 racing stable your large

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