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‘Burden’ of liquor licensing to be lifted from Magistrate’s Court

-legislation seeks to have the responsibility given to a Liquor Licencing Board
The ‘Liquor licences Act 2019’, expected to be renamed the ‘Liquor licences Act 2020’, seeks to have the responsibility of liquor licencing, including issuing, renewal and payments, removed from the Magistrate’s Court and given to a ‘Liquor Licencing Board’. Photo: VINO/File
Speaking on the Liquor Licences Act 2029, Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has said his Government intends to 'tackle the tough areas and make the tough decisions in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands'. Photo: VINO/File
Speaking on the Liquor Licences Act 2029, Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has said his Government intends to 'tackle the tough areas and make the tough decisions in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands'. Photo: VINO/File
DUFF’S BOTTOM, Tortola, VI- Another legislation that has been talked about for many years but never saw daylight in the House of Assembly (HoA) until the Andrew A. Fahie (R1)-led Virgin Islands Party (VIP) took over the reins of Government is being pushed in the HoA.

The ‘Liquor licences Act 2019’, expected to be renamed the ‘Liquor licences Act 2020’, seeks to have the responsibility of liquor licencing, including issuing, renewal and payments, removed from the Magistrate’s Court and given to a ‘Liquor Licencing Board’.

Mover of the bill, Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said the responsibility is currently a burden to the court and that it was an issue that was spoken about for many years.

“I can remember the cause being championed by the Member of the Third [Hon Julian Fraser RA, R3] on why are we burdening the courts with this,” Premier Fahie said at the Ninth Sitting of the Second session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola, on June 18, 2020.

He said the truth of the matter is that Hon Fraser was correct and in order to remove the burden of liquor licencing from the Magistrate’s Court, it will be given to a Board.

Premier Fahie called the legislation and what it seeks to do a “revolutionary process” by the Government of the Virgin Islands.

Liquor Licencing Board

‘This, Mr Speaker, goes to ensure that the business of the people is put in such a process that it speeds up the licensing and the whole processing of the liquor licensing as well as the payment and renewal and everything that needs to be done to help business people, Mr Speaker, to move a lot faster and be more efficient, and even more accessible to business persons.”

Hon Fahie also said the process will now be much more business-friendly, and that the Magistrate’s Court can now get on with other business of the people.

The ‘Liquor licences Act 2019’ is being dealt with on the heels of the historic passing of the Virgin Islands Gaming and Betting Control Act 2020, which effectively paves the way for Parimutuel Wagering, lotteries, and casinos to be established in the Territory.

“We intend to tackle the tough areas and make the tough decisions in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands,” Premier Fahie said.

The bill is now in committee.

8 Responses to “‘Burden’ of liquor licensing to be lifted from Magistrate’s Court”

  • secret (19/06/2020, 11:10) Like (9) Dislike (12) Reply
    Obviously VIP have a secret agenda which we know nothing about, all these bills being created and passed when the ones the people want non existent, keep a close watch
  • Plague (19/06/2020, 11:39) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    Most of these bars are plagues to society. Yes they have their place in society but our government and all the other departments are not doing their homework properly thus they are causing many communities and the people that live in the community much grief and pain. Time our government make the necessary changes to time of operations and the way they operate these businesses.

    Think about it our government allow all these issues to affect the lives of its people. In Society the morals that we once had has gone out the door. Health issues are rampant, the entire fabric in society gone out the door, policing gone out the door. Especially them who should up hold the law some have turn lawless also. Yes I say so because it is evident in some communities the old people say what goes under the horse belly comes on top. You can hide from man but not from God. Who the cap fit let them wear it corn falling but me na call no fowl. Look at what so many bars cause hotels and restaurants think about it. Our previous governments allow them to come as ghost towns after investing millions. Is this good governance.

    We are calling on the government to make a spot just for these bars and clubs since everyone can only see this type of business. The smallest child wants to have a bar. Now that gambling is law all bars can widen their scope of operations. Soon brothel will be legal to.

    Dont pretend that this is not what is happening in our communities it's a known fact.

    Dont feel bad they have their rightful place but government need proper regulations. Don't see money only, people lives matter that's the big problem.

    Let's see what this unconventional government will do to help these negative situation affect so many communities.
    • sooo (19/06/2020, 17:56) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      you're saying you want to live someplace where no liquor is sold? And people don't have freedom of choice?
  • Interesting (19/06/2020, 13:33) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    I hope that the licencing boards will do their homework and get input from those in the residential areas before these liquor licences are passed. Everybody wants to open a bar or a strip club. Is that the only business out here? BTW after these licences are passed these establishments need to be checked regularly, not just once a year. People hide things well.
  • Yes (19/06/2020, 16:21) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply

    Great move. That Magistrate tries to stop all the local bar owners from getting licences to operate their business by not granting approval. I hope she is not on the Board

  • board (19/06/2020, 18:08) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    She needs to be on the board all you believe this thing is a game of checkers.
  • NezRez (20/06/2020, 02:06) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    About time. The court should never have had a hand in this.
  • Nightmare (22/06/2020, 13:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI excels at taking simple things, adding a dollop of government and baking up a bureaucratic nightmare. This sounds exactly like that.


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