British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Aug 05, 2021

‘I don’t gamble’ but industry will boost VI economy- Premier Fahie

‘I don’t gamble’ but industry will boost VI economy- Premier Fahie

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie has said his Government will welcome innovative ideas that will boost the tourism sector and economy, including gambling which has seen resistance from some religious groups.

“Innovation is the only way we are going to be able to strengthen our economy beyond whatever we saw before, and we are going to have to allow for different layers of innovation, to strengthen our economy and our tourism sector and the whole sector overall,” he said.

Hon Fahie was at the time speaking as a guest on the Monday, April 12, 2021, edition of the Umoja Show on ZBVI 780 AM, alongside host Cromwell Smith aka Ed Ju Enka.

More innovation in tourism sector


Promising to explore more innovation, the Premier said Virgin Islanders will be encouraged to bring forward unique tourism ideas to fast track their trade license to as short as three days.

However, while some religious groups have rebuked plans of the establishment of a gambling industry in the territory, the Premier said the industry will still be explored as an economic booster given the legislation has already been approved.

The Virgin Islands Gaming and Betting Control Act 2020 was passed at the Ninth Sitting of the Second Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola on June 18, 2020.

“We have a lot of interest with persons locally and abroad dealing with the gaming, and we want to add the online feature to it,” he said.

Premier Andrew A. Fahie was at the time speaking as a guest on the Monday, April 12, 2021, edition Umoja Show on ZBVI 780am, alongside host Cromwell Smith aka Ed Ju Enka

According to Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1), like gaming, alcohol is an industry; however, drunkenness is not promoted in the Virgin Islands and that the consumption of alcohol is still a choice.


Alcohol legal but drunkenness not promoted - Premier Fahie


According to Hon Fahie, “The churches would have their concerns about certain areas of it… but at the same time too… I don’t gamble at all, but it’s another option in our economy,” he said.

The Premier reminded that like gaming, alcohol is an industry; however, drunkenness is not promoted in the Virgin Islands and that the consumption of alcohol is still a choice.

“In a case like this here, you would have to know how to make sure that we allow for this to come in as an industry, and how do we regulate it,” he said.

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