BVI News

No proper analysis| Penn opposes gambling legislation

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has vehemently opposed government’s Gambling (Gaming & Betting) Control Act, which he said lacks any type of analysis on any potential impact it might have on a cross-section of local sectors when it becomes law.

The legislation, which is still being deliberated in the House of Assembly, would pave the way for legalized betting and gambling in the territory.

Addressing the House late Tuesday night, June 16, Penn said: “As I went through the legislation, it doesn’t just speak to casino gambling, it doesn’t just speak to para-mutuel betting, it runs the full gamut in terms of the type of gaming activity that we intend to have in this territory.”

Penn raised concerns that there has not been an economic impact assessment to see if a population of the BVI’s size can “sustain the casinos, the lottery system, and the potential revenues to be derived from implementing this system”.

“A decision of this magnitude requires the input and proper analysis, not just from us as legislators … I don’t know if the government side has had discussions, but I can speak for the Member for the Second [District]. We have not had any conversation with the experts surrounding this piece of legislation.”

The Opposition leader said one group of stakeholders that could provide financial expertise and input, as fas as discussions go, would be the local financial services sector. 

He said the legislation has created a “serious cause for concern” for that sector, “as it relates to gambling and legitimizing gambling without the proper and well-structured framework to regulate, to manage, and to deal with the implications as it relates to money laundering and other issues that surround these types of issues”.

Caribbean Financial Action Task Force evaluating BVI

To further strengthen his point, Penn said the territory is being evaluated by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force — an assessment that had been pushed back because of the 2017 hurricanes.

Part of that evaluation would be to look into all the activities in the financial sector.

“One of the key areas of concern, as always, was the issue of gambling and the implications through the potential for money laundering and the issues that surround gambling. An issue as important as this — and the implications if we don’t get right — has the potential to shatter and do even more damage to that industry. As a legislator, I would have liked to be afforded the opportunity to hear from the persons from that industry, to understand their concerns.”

The legislative process for the gambling Bill has now reached the ‘committee stage’. During this stage, the entire House convenes to privately examine the Bill, clause by clause, and make changes as necessary.

The House is slated to reconvene on Thursday where an announcement will be made on whether the Bill in question successfully passed.

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  1. Pig says:

    I wish if this dude had the same energy regarding the stinking sewerage in East End. No time to read junk mail.

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  2. NDP says:

    yes lets get a consultant or a few spena million just to make sure you make money from gambling…….wtf

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  3. Windy says:

    There was a consultant’s analysts for the BVI air mess. The government ignored it. Let’s do it AGAIN!

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  4. Ning says:

    You talking the same ‘proper analysis’ your Government did with the BVI Airways deal … yes?

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  5. down2earth says:

    Hon. Premier – gambling? Don’t you know of the destruction and pain families go through because of gambling – those addicted have gone as far as gambling away their very child, house etc? In an effort to make money, do not destroy our families and the VI society! Ask yourself the question – who is the winner in this game? No one!…not even the government because you will have to pick up the pieces!

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  6. Government admin building says:

    Turn it into a shopping mall with a casino on top designed to attract the cruise ship dollar

  7. :) says:

    Ok so let me understand this clearly if the government did a proper analysis it would be ok to proceed or is this just another excuse by the opposition to complain because the opposition’s job is to say and do the opposite of Government?

    I believe this as usual is just Marlon refusing to say anything positive about the Government. Government did a study on whether Social Security could afford the money allocated for the stimulus plan and found that it would be sustainable but it was no surprise when Marlon was not satisfied with the response.

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  8. No nonsense says:

    This time I on penn’s side. So Sunday mornings when the Primer playing the piano in church, let him pray for the woman and children who was abused fro the man who gambled his week’s pay. Then No food and supplies for school Monday morning!

  9. No nonsense says:

    Look in the distance how them setting up the independent BVI to FAIL. We would loose financial services for sure the other leg tourism will fade away because we are not BEST at it. Even after years and documents of how to improve it we still doing it our same Old way. Look at our prime “jewels” beaches. What aint look like a jungle or cesspool no proper fixtures are there. The beach wardens cutting down the little shade that had been planted voluntarily since Irma spend more time bar hopping daily and does not remove garbage from the beaches throughly. Look at the article published recently on Brewers Bay. They need to be thought about sand erosion (leave the beach weeds alone). Proper washroom should be installed and maintained especially now that Covid is here to stay. Zoning need to happen quick? In places where there are hotels and RB&B you have people rearing sheep, goat and fighting fowls and on top of that xtra loud car music. Sunday afternoons after the scooters island tour its the the car music competition. The glass in your house shaking and your chest vibrating. Where is the representative for the 1st??

  10. Smh says:

    I believe the government has an interest in the gaming, reasons are;I have posted twice on the yellow news site about the gaming house that is almost finish being built at long bush and it was never posted.the owner is way ahead of the game and also a die hard VIP.

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