Senators approve Caravelle Hotel Casino gets casino license

The decision from the Senate overrules a previous veto from Governor Kenneth Mapp.

US Virgin Islands.- VIGL Operations, LLC , the owner of Caravelle Hotel, has been trying to obtain a Level 4 casino license. Caravelle Hotel is located in the Christiansted and Frederiksted Enterprise Zones and there are a number of stipulations for obtaining a Level 4 casino license in the area.

Hotels in these zones need to have a minimum of seventy five hotel rooms that are freshly constructed or recently renovated, a stipulation VIGL tried to seek a waiver for. However, Governor Kenneth Mapp made it clear to the hotel owners that they were not allow to operate their casino unless this requirement was fulfilled.

The reason why Mapp denied the permission was because he thought that forcing the casino to comply with the existing law would benefit Christiansted by forcing the company to invest into the economy, creating additional construction jobs for electricians, masons, painters and boosting local businesses through building material purchases.

The governor’s opinions were not shared by the Senate, which voted last week to overrule his veto on the casino license for the Caravelle hotel. Senator Kenneth Gittens introduced a motion to overrule the Governor’s decision and the full senate voted unanimously to approve the casino license and to allow the hotel to open its gambling operations to the public.

Gittens was relieved after the senate unanimously approved the motion and believes the right decision has been made as the local economy would get a much needed boost from the casino industry, bringing in more tourists to St Croix.

On the other hand, Governor Mapp said in a statement: “Under the proposed section of the bill, the sponsor is seeking to allow the Casino Commission the authority to waive the hotel requirement and proceed with opening the casino. This is very unfair to the community and a change of the rules in the middle of the game.”