Premier certain that persons still gambling in BVI
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has expressed certainty that persons are continuing to gamble in the territory, despite the fact that gambling is not allowed in the BVI without the requisite licence.
The Gaming and Betting Control Act, which makes gambling legal in the BVI, provides for the establishment of the Gaming & Betting Control Commission that will regulate the local betting and gaming sectors, but the entity responsible for issuing such licenses is still not in place more than two years after the legislation was passed.
Responding to a question at a press conference on the matter recently, Dr Wheatley said: “I’m pretty sure persons gamble in the territory. I don’t have any specific knowledge of it, or participation in it, I should say, but I’m pretty sure. I’ve heard that people tend to gamble in the territory.”
Dr Wheatley further acknowledged that the Commission responsible for gaming and betting has still not been formed as yet but offered no timeline for when it might be implemented.
“We haven’t decided to move too quickly with it (the Commission). It’s something that I want to take a good look at it before we move forward with it,” he added.
The premier’s comments come in the wake of a notice issued by his office reminding residents that gambling remains an illegal offence in the absence of the required licence.
‘A person shall not participate in any aspect of the gaming and betting sectors without first acquiring the necessary licence from the Commission’, the notice reminded persons.
Based on the Act, the notice stated that any person undertaking gaming and/or betting operations or providing facilities of any kind for betting or gaming without a licence, commits an offence.
It further advised that any person operating any casino, gaming and/or betting operations is asked to cease such operations immediately, until such time as the Commission is in effect and grants the requisite license to operate.