July 27, 2004 The Casino Control Commission granted a six-month extension to Golden Gaming on Tuesday of its Statement of Compliance that carries with it the reservation of a Casino II license.
Commission member Lloyd McAlpin said he was "originally troubled" about the idea of granting the extension. But he noted that Golden Gaming recently sued the St. Croix Coastal Zone Management Committee and said that the process of resolving that case could take a while.
The committee granted Golden Gaming a CZM permit by default at the end of May after failing to get a quorum to vote on the permit during a 30-day period as required by the Coastal Zone Management Act. (See "Golden Resorts Gets Its CZM Permit by Default".)
However, the CZM committee rescinded its default decision last month, saying that because of other agreements the clock had not started running on the 30-day limit. The CZM has set another meeting on the matter for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Education Department Curriculum Center.
Attorney Kevin Rames, representing Golden Gaming, told the CZM committee last month that it could not rescind the decision. Now attorneys for the developer have filed suit asking the Territorial Court to halt the Aug. 2 meeting and declare that the permit has been issued.
Casino Control Commission member Devin Carrington said at Tuesday's meeting that he, too, initially had reservations about granting the extension. The Statement of Compliance was to expire next month. However, he said he had to concur with McAlpin because the situation was getting "a little sticky."
According to Carrington, "Golden has made every effort to comply with our statutes." He said the developer had run into "obstacles" with CZM and, "knowing how the judicial process can run into delays," he agreed to vote for the extension.
Eileen Petersen, commission chair, concurred, making the decision unanimous.
The commission executive director, Shawna Richards, said the Statement of Compliance does not guarantee the developer will get a casino license. It means that the applicant "is in compliance so far with the materials submitted," she said, adding: "This is an ongoing process." She also said an applicant must secure a CZM permit in order to obtain a gaming license.
Some residents are for the proposed resort, others are against it. (See "CZM Hears Good, Bad at Golden Resorts Hearing".)
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