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Visitors come to place bets on horses- Lesmore Smith

- hopeful Pari-mutuel wagering will be legalised this year
Popular horse owner Lesmore Smith (inset) has made another call for Pari-mutuel wagering to be allowed at Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay. Photo: VINO/File
According to Smith, visitors come to the territory to bet on horses. Photo: VINO/File
According to Smith, visitors come to the territory to bet on horses. Photo: VINO/File
Horse owners have long been calling for Pari-mutuel wagering to be implemented in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
Horse owners have long been calling for Pari-mutuel wagering to be implemented in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Long time horse owner Lesmore Smith has again called for pari-mutuel betting in the Virgin Islands to be made legal.

Pari-mutuel wagering is a form of betting and handling the betting on horse races at race tracks, where those holding winning tickets divide the total amount bet, in proportion to their wagers, less a percentage for the management and taxes.

Smith, who was recently honoured by the VI Horse Owners Association was one of the many horse racing pioneers who were highlighted at the Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum on Wednesday August 17, 2016.

In delivering brief remarks, Smith said when visitors come to the territory they are seeking to place bets on horses.

“You know what they [tourists] want to come and look for? I want to place a bet, but there is nothing to bet on. We don’t have that facility as yet but hopefully 2016 we are going to bring it in,” he said.

He remarked that he is happy that around the room were movers and shakers who can assist them at Ellis Thomas Downs to make Pari-mutuel wagering happen.

The debate

Back in 2015, the jury seemed sold on the idea of the betting system, despite the VI being a heavily influenced Christian society. Persons acknowledged that the money can be used to offset the costs of maintaining the track and also come in handy for other areas in which Government may have a need.

It was the belief of most persons that gambling in one form or the other already takes place at the horse track, so why not engage it in a legal and structured way?

This is not the first time that Smith has spoken publicly on the matter. He said it is not easy to be rearing horses for the racetrack and you get paid from the races weeks after. He thinks there are other ways of developing the sport and Pari-mutuel wagering is one of them.

Former legislator Eileene L. Parsons OBE had also in the past given her verdict on the issue, voicing her support for the cause, saying that when she was a member of the House of Assembly in the late 90s, she was involved in the discussions regarding the relevant legislation.

“I am in support of it because down at the race track betting goes on and I am told that pari-mutuel will be safer and that Government will get something from each dollar wagered and I feel whatever Government gets they will use it to help maintain the track. That is why I am in favour of it,” she had said.

Meantime Bishop John I. Cline of the New Life Baptist Church commented that any attempt by the Government to minimise crime or the potential of crime should be looked at carefully and be considered.

6 Responses to “Visitors come to place bets on horses- Lesmore Smith”

  • VIlander (19/08/2016, 09:34) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    The funny things is we so like to copy everywhere to even the price of their liquor but can't see that we are the only horse track in the world with no betting by pari-mutuel...and they think they're so intelligent and smart set of jacka$$
  • Dreamer (19/08/2016, 10:01) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    stop from glorifying to justifying shite
  • Strupes (19/08/2016, 10:03) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mayson move from here with your foolishness before you get pushed off the cliff like claude and gaskin.
  • wize up (19/08/2016, 11:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ strupes....are you saying persons are now pushed from the cliff and no longer being pushed under the bus; or you have the option of being pushed from the cliff or pushed under the bus...VIP pushes their associates under the bus while NDP pushes their affiliates from the cliff(this is some very serious $&it)...I keeping out the way
  • catchandkeep (19/08/2016, 15:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    wah happen to stimulus mart buddy?

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