Until very recently, all forms of gambling in the British Virgin Islands were prohibited. However, following the introduction of new legislation in the country, gambling has become legalized and regulated, bringing potential new economic growth and new opportunities to the people of BVI.
Prior to this change in the law no casinos could legally operate within the country and residents were not allowed to play on online casinos, even if those casinos accepted British Virgin Island players.
It had long been suggested that there was a huge appetite for gambling within the country and that demand for it would continue to increase. Lawmakers had considered that if legislation was not passed then gambling activity would continue to take place unregulated and outside of the law.
In August 2020, Act No. 14 – The Virgin Islands Gaming and Betting Control Act, 2020 was published by the government. This new act has made way for the introduction of the new Gaming and Betting Control Commission.
The Commission has been established to grant licences gambling premises allowing them to operate, conduct studies and carry out reports on the industry, impose conditions and carry out reviews on licensees.
They also have the aim of preventing any money laundering or financing from criminal organizations.
The key benefits of the industry for the Virgin Islands
Gambling has had a hugely positive benefit on several economies around the world, take places such as Los Angeles, Atlantic City or Monte Carlo for example. High quality casinos and gambling opportunities can attract visitors from all over the world.
One economic benefit of this industry will be the creation of new employment opportunities. With an unemployment rate of around three percent in the British Virgin Islands, more job availability is never a bad thing.
More jobs may come in the form of casino employees and those working in promoting and maintaining these facilities. There may also be construction required for new casinos and betting outlets, proving work for people in that sector also.
The introduction of gambling is great news for the wider hospitality industry too. Visitors traveling for gambling purposes may also require accommodation, food and drink and other forms of entertainment. Even local transport and private transport may see knock on effect.
Many gambling organizations, particularly those within the sports betting sector will look to sponsor local sports teams. This could provide another much needed source of revenue to local clubs on the Islands. Any sport with a significant fan base might have a chance at sponsorship.
The Islands will see almost instant benefits in terms of revenue gained from licensing fees. As payroll tax is the only income tax in BVI, there may be a noticeable impact on tax dollars in the upcoming months and years.
Aside from financial benefits, gambling may actually have some surprising health benefits to residents of BVI. Studies have shown that for those who gamble as a hobby may see an increase in mood and levels of happiness compared to those who do not.
Skills can also be gained from many types of gambling. Card games such as poker and blackjack can require decision making and strategy development. Also calculating odds when betting requires the development of mathematical skills and reasoning.
There is also the social aspect to consider. Playing casino games or participating in sports betting can be an excellent form of entertainment and many games can be enjoyed with friends or other gamblers.
Poker is the most popular choice of casino game around the world…
The game Poker has over 100 million players worldwide and can be played either in-person or online. Poker is a card game for two or more players, who must wager over who has the best hang.
Poker is one example of a game that is great for socialisation. When playing poker, players must take notice of the actions and psychology of other players in order to look out for tells.
Playing poker at a high level does require a significant amount of skill, you must understand the rules and be able to develop strategies for winning the game, it isn’t all just down to chance!
There are plenty of resources online for those who would like to learn how to play poker. Some land-based casinos also offer packages to customers that may include tutorials and demonstrations on how to play.
These packages can make great evening’s out for celebrations like birthdays or wedding celebrations.
It will soon be easy to find a game of poker in the British Virgin Islands as new gambling venues begin to open up. Residents of BVI will also be able to play online if they prefer to do so from the comfort of their own homes.
Now that gambling has been legalized and regulated in the British Virgin Islands, we can expect many positive impacts on the local economy and the entertainment opportunities available to residents and visitors on the islands.