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Caravelle Hotel Gets Casino License; Cheney Bay Is Likely To Be The Next

CHRISTIANSTED — For only the second time in 20 years, the Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission has approved a license to operate a casino on St. Croix.

VIGL Operations LLC, CRG Holdings LLC and Casino Holdings LLC said on Wednesday that they would be remodeling the Hotel Caravelle on the boardwalk to qualify for a Class Four license.

“So many thanks to all of our friends and business partners on St. Croix for their support in bringing this project to Christiansted,” Caravelle Hotel owner Sid Kalmans said. “It is truly a game changer and a catalyst to revitalization of our beautiful town.”

The hotel must have 75 rooms to qualify for the license which was granted by the Casino Control Commission on Friday.

Asked for comments and specifics on Friday, Casino Control Commission Chair Violet Anne Golden said that a press release would be issued over the weekend.

So far no official information has been released by Golden or the Casino Control Commission.

Golden said in March that she had initiated a forensic accounting investigation into the Casino Control Commission’s operations that goes back to the mid 1990’s.

She said that the forensic audit is taking place in three stages and that it was currently in the first phase of looking back at the commission’s books.

The period that the forensic audit is examining covers the period when former Territorial Court Judge Eileen Petersen was the chair of the Casino Control Commission.

Several sources have confirmed that the next casino license that is likely to issued on St. Croix will be granted to the Cheney Bay Resort near Green Cay.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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