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Unity Gov't admits to dragging foot on Gaming & Betting Commission

Premier Wheatley says he wants to 'take a good look' before before moving ahead with establishment
Casinos and betting operations in the Virgin Islands (Vi) have been warned against unlicensed operations in the Virgin Islands pursuant to the Virgin Islands Gaming and Betting Control Act, 2020 (“VI Gaming Act”) along with the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Act, 1997, as amended (“POCCA”) and Anti-Money Laundering Regulations 2008, as amended (“AML Regulations”). Photo: Internet Source
Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) says that he while he is sure that gambling is taking place in the VI, he has no specific knowledge of the activity nor has he participated. Photo: VINO/File
Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) says that he while he is sure that gambling is taking place in the VI, he has no specific knowledge of the activity nor has he participated. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI– Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) says while he is sure illegal gambling is taking place in the VI, neither has he any specific knowledge of the activity nor has he participated.

Dr Wheatley made the statements during a Friday, September 23, 2022, press briefing where he detailed that even as the Virgin Islands Gaming and Betting Control Act, 2020, is now a law, the Gaming and Betting Control Commission is yet to be established.

“The Commission hasn’t been formed as yet. It’s something that we’re taking a look at. We haven't decided to move too quickly with it, it's something I want to take a good look at Before we move forward with it,” he said.

On September 14, 2022, a notice from the Premier’s Office, indicated that any person operating any casino, gaming and/or betting operations within the Virgin Islands should take note of the laws.

Gambling operations warned 

Casinos and betting operators are being warned against unlicensed operations in the Virgin Islands (VI) pursuant to the Virgin Islands Gaming and Betting Control Act, 2020 (“VI Gaming Act”), along with the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Act, 1997, as amended, and the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations 2008, as amended.

When questioned on why the notice would have been issued, the Premier said it could be because gambling is active in the territory, although he has no specific case of such.

“In terms of whether persons are gambling, I'm pretty sure persons gamble in the territory. I don't have any specific knowledge of it or participation in it, I should say. But I've heard that people tend to gamble in the territory, so perhaps maybe that's why the notice has gone out."

The notice also stated that pursuant to section 29 of the Virgin Islands Gaming and Betting Control Act, 2020, a person shall not participate in any aspect of the gaming and betting sectors without first acquiring the necessary license from the Gaming and Betting Control Commission (“Commission”). 

It said, based on the VI Gaming Act, any person undertaking gaming and/or betting operations or providing facilities of any kind for betting or gaming without a license commits an offense.

21 Responses to “Unity Gov't admits to dragging foot on Gaming & Betting Commission”

  • Lucky (26/09/2022, 09:22) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    those Loto tickets are unlawful but been around for many many years in the land so make gaming legal in the place or you rather make same sex legal before gaming[asking for a student
    • @Lucky (26/09/2022, 10:35) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      And what about the gambling that goes on at the racetrack??
      • @ luck (26/09/2022, 13:26) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        you now knowing that!!!!
        I also grew up meet guys with dice on them knees under the tree gambling
      • bvi islander (26/09/2022, 15:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        what racetrack you talking about?
        • BuzzBvi (26/09/2022, 16:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          We still have a race track to carry on our gambling and other illegal activities at? Or the Thomas family stopped what the Police and Government couldn't? Good on them. They going to continue their fight againtlst crime?
  • NezRez (26/09/2022, 09:59) Like (28) Dislike (6) Reply
    How long will you drag your feet for us to have a good incone, when so many other islands are booming? The BVI needs a serious boost in our economy, and give tourists something to want to remember and return back here. Look at this place, BORING and DIRTY. The roads are deplorable and dangerous. Just make a decision now and stop wasting years which we don't have left. The BVI will by then be known as a waste of time and money to tourists. You so called leaders are killing us!
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (26/09/2022, 10:10) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    You have not been truthful in reference to elegal gambling that has been, and continue being in progress here in the BVI. What closer look you need look in order to accept this publicly know fact that elegal gambling is being is one of the normal ongoing daily happening?
    Hon. Dr. Natalio Sajande Wheatley, there is a popular quote: "You can Fool some of the people all of the time, some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."
    It is time for the Unity Government to chose to RESET or prepare to exist political leadership in shameful regret.
  • WHAT!!!! (26/09/2022, 10:13) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    “dragging feet”
    roads, sewerage, water supply, incinerator parts,schools, and more.
  • bvibuzz (26/09/2022, 10:36) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    Each time I hear this slow premier I am convinced we need an election
  • farmer (26/09/2022, 10:38) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ayo best deal with the water system up paraquita bay for the farmers & better school for the kids!!!!
    • Their Focus.. (26/09/2022, 12:26) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
      Right now they are focusing on getting alone for this and for that and we all know it's to help to finance their upcoming campaign. ..Don't be fool. This the pattern every 6 months before election..
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (26/09/2022, 10:55) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    If lottery gambling is legalized in the BVI, revenue will increase, but moral standard will dramatically decline, especially theft, because lottery gambling has be designed for the 1% to win while the 99% pay the price.
    In addition to that, crime will increase. Many families breakup, and their children will suffer the conquences.

    Warning: Be very careful BVI people, and understand this highly valuable truth. Good governance is is not void oft helpful knowledge being use wisely.
  • WE NEED (26/09/2022, 12:19) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    OUR OWN LOTTERY , AND BANB ( PUERTO RICO & ST THOMAS )LOTTERY , THAT BWILL BE A GOOD START ,INSTEAD OF DRAGGING FEET OR HANDS
  • Where is the progress. ? (26/09/2022, 12:23) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    The only one good thing thus far is the shuttle service around town, that's a good thing... Another tourist season going start in a month's time, Not hearing any real plan to increase and to encourage our numbers...That gaming law should have been ready and in place for this tourist season,,, Come on Shareen Flax speak out, speak up, you are the only sure winner in the VIP. Don't lose Marks open your mouth on behalf of the people, the people will stand with you. Right now two of my atlarge votes gone, 1 Sheena 2/ Shareen...Waiting to hear and see who is going to come and what they coming with.. Time to stop looking friends and trying to act intelligent the people are crying for representation..
  • Location? (26/09/2022, 12:50) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    Who has the best dog fights on islands? Will settle for cock fighting but prefer dog. Thanks
  • Look at (26/09/2022, 14:34) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Look at the road condition from Fat Hogs Bay by the Premier gate onward its a darn shame they collecting tax for the road from visitors and the roads are in a deplorable condition ther is no way you can try to take out from one swimming pool to escape another in the roads just bad there is absolutely no way the roads should be looking this way and so much tax been taking out my salary i have to be buying tires rims bumpers rods all parts for car due to the holes i am convinced they working with these car dealership
  • What to believe (26/09/2022, 16:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It appears that the Premier was undermining Fahie from the very beginning all of these legislations came in by Fahie which he Premier endorsed and was very supported of. He even big up Fahie for introducing these legislation now he claims he is deliberately dragging his feet on them. This suggests he never were in support of them but was just going along to get along without standing for what he believes in.
    This is the problem with politicians you never can tell when they are telling the truth.
  • big show (26/09/2022, 20:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You call him a slow Premier I call him a big jackaxx bloody educated fool
  • disappointed (27/09/2022, 06:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    A big disappointment the Premier by default
  • J (28/09/2022, 08:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Apparently gambling is legal because one of the National race horse event in Sea Cows Bay is done every year and it is gambling. Another observation is that booths are set up behind the Police booth every year in the festival time and no one does anything about it and I am sure all the politicians know about it. There are spanish, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas lottery selling here which is common knowledge. Might as well you just do what you have to do and legalize it. Gambling will bring in a lot of revenue to the government. It will also create jobs. There are also the negative sides for gambling addicts.
  • Hmmmmm (29/09/2022, 14:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did the Premier say he doesn't know of any specific case when the ladies selling lotto tickets right below his office? This has been happening since I was a child over 40 years ago. I have witnessed politicians and police officers buying them. I agree it needs to be regulated but perhaps this is a situation of the cart before the horse.


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