Senate considering horse racing slots plan for St Thomas

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The legislation would allow more than 200 slot machines at Clinton Phipps racetrack in St Thomas.

The US senate is considering a legislation that would allow more than 200 slots in a St Thomas racetrack.

US.- Governor Kenneth Mapp, from the United States Virgin Islands, presented a legislation that’s currently being considered in the Senate and that would allow more than 200 slot machines at Clinton Phipps racetrack in St Thomas.

Mapp proposed the plan back in October, whilst the other half of the proposition comes from a franchise contract with VIGL Operations. The legislation also includes the reduction of Divi Carina Bay Casino’s taxes from 12 to 8 percent of revenues, and it would allow one slot machine company to operate both levy racetrack slots and horse tracks at 25 percent rate.

According to Mapp, the plan would end up in a US$30 million investment in the Virgin Islands’ racetracks and it would certainly boost races. The franchise also demands a US$27 million investment. On the other hand, Southland Gaming’s Gaming President, Robert Huckabee III, which had signed an exclusive contract in St Thomas, said: “As Southland’s CEO, I wrote a letter two weeks ago to Senate President James expressing my opposition to having VIGL operate up to 200 additional gaming machines on St. Thomas because of the tremendous harm that would do to the government’s video lottery program, the USVI lottery and the important government programs supported by video lottery.”

Huckabee also said that allowing VIGL to operate slot machines at their racetracks would be considered a violation of the exclusive video lottery contract between Southland Gaming and the government for Southland to operate all such machines on St. Thomas. According to Sportal, the plan should be sent to committee for testimony, debate and possibly renegotiated.