bvi analysis


James W...

James Was Only St. Croix Senator to Vote for Bill Giving Southland Gaming Exclusivity Through 2041 For Video Lottery Gaming

  • The Editorial Board
  • April 21, 2022

Senator Javan James had a hard time during the evening hours of April 12 explaining to the Consortium why he supported a bill that gave one company exclusivity to operate video lottery terminal gaming in St. Thomas for two decades, the only St. Croix lawmaker to support the measure and thereby becoming the reason it passed in the Senate. Governor Bryan is expected to sign the bill into law. The bill extends Southland Gaming's monopoly in St. Thomas by preventing any other entity — whether a new resort that would like to include a casino as part of its plans, or a competing firm seeking to offer VLT gambling options — from running a video lottery terminal operation. Asked why he supported the bill, Mr. James responded by stating that the exclusivity arrangement was conceived under the Turnbull administration, extended by former Governor John de Jongh during his tenure and challenged by then-Governor Kenneth Mapp, who lost the court battle. He then said, "What we are dealing with unfo...