BVI News

Gov’t introducing an official BVI lottery — Premier

Premier Andrew Fahie has announced that a state lottery will be implemented in the British Virgin Islands once government’s Gambling (Gaming & Betting) Control Act becomes law.

He gave that indication while debating the increasingly controversial legislation in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, June 16.

“Your government, through this legislation, intends to introduce a BVI lottery to take the place of the illegal foreign lottery that is sold on certain streets in the territory,” the Premier said.

“We have been working with a team of consultants who have helped other jurisdictions, including others in the Caribbean, to implement their own online gaming systems and facilitate these kinds of lottery games like Powerball,” he added.

Fahie further said that profits generated from the lottery will be utilised to provide social support to local communities, and also to aid in infrastructure development and many other programmes.

Gambling to dump millions into BVI economy

He told the House of Assembly the gambling legislation is projected to generate millions of dollars while creating employment opportunities and establishing a nightlife in the territory.

With the decline of the financial services sector and the tourism industry facing several challenges, Premier Fahie said the government had to find a new source of revenue to benefit the territory.

“A managed regulated gaming and betting industry is also an opportunity for the BVI to create jobs and to attract and earn revenue and that is the context in which this legislation is being brought here today,” Fahie said.

“There’s a place for everyone, some persons would make a living through the horse racing as a result of this legislation, some persons would make a living through the lottery section of this, some persons would be hired as accountants, some persons would be hired as managers, the government will be able to get millions of dollars in new revenue in a new area that was left untouched for over 20 years or more,” he added.

Nightlife to be created

Fahie, who is also the Minister of Finance, also made reference to comments made by the President of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Michele Paige.

Last year October, Paige said that an average cruise ship on each berth leaves approximately $600,000 on the table for the private sector, which the BVI was not capitalising on.

The Premier said he believes the gambling legislation will create an atmosphere in the territory that will allow the BVI to maximize on this projected revenue from cruise ships, since an attraction will now exist that would motivate the vessels to stay longer at the ports.

“Cruise passengers will stay later and some would patronize the casinos, spending their money in the territory’s coffers. This would create business opportunities for our people, employment opportunities and tax revenue for the government. Additionally, we would have a livelier nightlife for our restaurants, bars, food vendors and so forth,” he explained.

Opposition from Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition

Government legislators such as Deputy Premier Carvin Malone, Deputy Speaker Neville Smith, junior minister Sharie De Castro, as well as Dr Natalio Wheatley, Vincent Wheatley and Kye Rymer have all publicly supported the Bill.

On the other hand, Opposition members Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull and Opposition Leader Marlon Penn both had several queries about the legislation as it relates to the negative social implications that may result from the passing of the bill.

Turnbull’s father, Reverend Melvin Turnbull, Snr has publicly expressed strong opposition for the legislation which is still being deliberated in the House. 

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34 Comments

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  1. lol says:

    Ha, ha, ha, ha. I am trying to hold back my laugh. Is this all this waste of time government could come up with?

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  2. oh wow says:

    I guess he has already consulted with the great god of the universe to go against his religion

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  3. GODS WRATH says:

    Will become apparent once legislation is passed in the BVI for gambling..

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    • Crazy says:

      Why all the fuss, every bar in tortola have a machine with sports and pally betting ,also dont forget the Puerto Rico lottery and hundreds of thousands is leaving the bvi every month and we cant tax it or receive any benefits from it .yes premier legalize it and control it . Good move

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      • Blackman says:

        Finally, it’s was about time someone on the Goverment discover this issue that happen over 20 years ; we must remember we’re livening on new century.
        God say “I’ll show the way” never say “I walk with you”

  4. vote no says:

    The entire history of legalized gambling in this country and abroad shows that it has brought nothing but poverty, crime, and corruption, demoralization of moral and ethical standards, and ultimately a lower living standard and misery for all the people. A gambler can become just as addicted to his bewitching pastime as the alcoholic does to his liquor or the drug addict to drugs.

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    • disagree says:

      The UK lottery has revolutionised sport and funds elite athletes

      • Anonymous says:

        @disagree- It also supports a number of public ventures..This can be a good thing for BVI, Job creation, new streams of revenue, influx of tourism….we just need to police and manage it properly.

    • Secret Bear says:

      Where I come from, legalised gambling on Native American reservations has been a godsend, contributing to wealth and greater standards of living for the tribes, as well as raising needed funds to help FIGHT addictions like alcoholism and gambling.

  5. Um says:

    Casino – BVI? So who already has a trade license for a Casino in the BVI? Are we going to fill Pier Park and local bars with slot machines? Arcades? Oh dear.
    I agree with the lottery, I agree with betting on the horse which already happens but the rest – nope! We do not want shiny noisy machines which are rigged for you to lose. Just no.

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  6. Hypocrite says:

    Is this the same Mitch who always drinking rum in the bar cane garden bay? Partying late in the night Saturday and then go preach a Sunday morning? The hypocrisy in this place is sickening.

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    • @hypocrite says:

      …Mitch is not as innocent as he looks or project himself to be, yeah I be seeing you around Mitch. Wink, wink.

    • Yeah Michie poo says:

      I sit right there in the bar and smile to myself, he is totally a different person I would say, never mind, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. I’ll leave it at that.

  7. Poisoned lands says:

    So if the 600cc don’t kill the guys then this premier will find a way to get um

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  8. Co***F**** says:

    How Marlon Penn could be against this legislation while he used to participate in b***ing on c**k f****ing at the Pit, this man is the definition of a H*******e.

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    • True says:

      That M—– been cockfighting and gambling from long. — was right there participating even as an elected official. This m– is no saint.

  9. Cruzan mitch says:

    D******d mon-sat and pastor and Sunday and m***y l*******r everyday

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  10. Laundry says:

    F— need wash he money eh, old habits new tricks

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m with this hopefully it is similar to Power ball, pay small and win big. I can afford to throw away at least $10 in tickets to win each time.

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  12. hmm says:

    I can see a lot of fraud in this, like poker run and other raffles . You going to notice its certain people will win

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  13. Might dodge Corona says:

    Gambling is a super disaster. Andrew you call God and Jesus names all the time. Are you going to call their names to bless your gambling scheme? When you going to open the BVI to cruise ships? Cos the only peeps with real money to gamble are tourists. Who have the trade licenses for casino? Andrew this will lose you the next election. You saved the seniors from Corona, and they will vote you out… LOL, bye bye Andrew.

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  14. Oh no says:

    We are not the kind of Islands to have gambling the next thing will be legalised whore houses 😳. We’re going to become the next SXM, aweful.
    and what about all the current illegal gambling that’s going on with dog fights and cock fights? Noone controls or monitors that in any way that we all know what’s going on. Smh

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    • Secret Bear says:

      Isn’t it just possible that that kind of thing (cockfighting, dogfighting, etc) will fade away when people have legal outlets to gamble?

    • Secret Bear says:

      Right now we have dozens of ILLEGAL whorehouses, where women are trafficked and abused. At least with a legal one we could supervise and regulate what goes on there.

  15. Yip says:

    I’m pretty sure NDP tried to legalize the whore house them. Not under vip watch.

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  16. YOUTH says:

    Good job Premier.

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  17. Earl says:

    We doomed with this…

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  18. Ausar says:

    Great news, Premier!

    Lets get the balls rolling…..

    YAAYYYY!!

  19. Cruise ships says:

    They want to be able to stay to open their casino not stay to have passengers go to BVI casinos! The idea of passenger spend for bvi is that folks onboard the ship who do not go to the ship casino might disembark and go to restaurants or bars since the ship is staying later .

  20. asking all the questions says:

    where the money coming from? how big is the pool?the winner will be announced in this small community?will the winner pay off their debts via they live here?any of the winnings going to charity? any of the money raised going into the community outside of the winning pool?

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