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CHAMBER URGES VIDEO LOTTERY VETO AND PROBE

July 30, 2001 – The St. Croix Chamber of Commerce issued a release Monday "urgently" requesting that Gov. Charles W. Turnbull veto the video lottery enabling legislation passed by the Senate late on July 19 as one of numerous amendments to the governor's supplemental appropriations bill.
The release termed the legislation "insidious" and said it "could jeopardize existing and future casino operations," a view advanced last week by Eileen Petersen, chair of the Casino Control Commission. The chamber affirmed its support of "the development and expansion of the hotel industry on St. Croix as authorized under the Casino and Resort Control Act of 1995."
The chamber also called on Attorney General Iver Stridiron to "investigate the forces that are hell-bent on pushing this corrupting form of entertainment." In several states, the release stated, video lottery terminals are not only controversial but "targeted to be barred."
The chamber's leadership and members "are appalled at the irresponsible action of the Senate" in passing a measure "that in essence would destroy the growing casino and hotel industry and result in the loss of economic activity and employment for hundreds of local residents," the release said.
Also, it said, video lottery terminals placed in bars and restaurants would add nothing to the infrastructure of the community — "no significant number of jobs, hotel rooms, convention centers or other tourist-related facilities. VLT's will not provide the broader economic and tourism benefits that a casino would provide, and at the same time will undercut and severely diminish the probability of St. Croix ever establishing a thriving casino resort market."

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