Although land-based casinos are legal in the US Virgin Islands, this unincorporated and organized territory of the United States has chosen not to license online casinos at the present time.
An expert that we spoke to from this site believes the U.S. Virgin Islands may be missing out on a good opportunity by not adopting a licensing system like the one in Curacao. He said,
“Curacao has attracted many new casino start-ups by offering licensing facilities. It would seem that the US Virgin Islands could benefit from the same level of interest if the authorities adopt a similar approach to Curacao.”
This is a common opinion with industry professionals but it’s unclear whether the US Virgin Islands will ever develop an online casino authority. To analyze the likelihood of this happening, let’s start by taking a look at the current situation.
Why does the U.S. Virgin Islands not issue online gaming licenses?
Land-based casinos are legal in the U.S. Virgin Islands, although sports betting is not. These land-based casino operations are controlled by the Virgin Islands Casino and Resort Control Act of 1995.
It’s also interesting to note that online casino gambling has been legal since the Virgin Islands Internet Gaming and Internet Gambling Act was drawn up, in 2013. However, no licenses have been issued to this point.
It’s unclear exactly why this is the case, but it could be to do with complications surrounding the issuing of the licenses and who they would be issued to.
The licensing situation in Curacao is very different to the U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands and Curacao may both have tropical Caribbean locations but their attitude towards online gambling licenses is very different. Curacao’s online gambling licensing system is one of the most popular in the world.
This is due to the ease and speed of application together with low purchase costs. It’s these factors that have attracted many igaming start ups to Curacao thereby bringing in valuable revenue. Given the obvious advantages of providing online casino licenses, opinion in the industry seems to favor a change in direction for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Will the U.S. Virgin Islands go down the same path as Curacao?
The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands needs to raise revenue in order to pay for services and facilities such as schools, healthcare, and transportation. It does this by raising licenses, taxes, and fees.
Against this backdrop, it would seem that any additional means of raising revenue would be welcomed. So, could the U.S. Virgin Islands government ever be tempted to raise funds by regulating online casinos with licenses being issued?
Another advantage of doing so would be attracting new businesses in much the same way that start-ups have been attracted to Curacao. Recently, there have been rumors that the U.S. Virgin Islands government has been considering permitting the issuing of casino licenses. There has been no definite move in this direction yet, but it will be interesting to revisit the situation in a
couple of years time and see if the U.S. Virgin Islands have followed in the footsteps of Curacao when it comes to online casino licensing