I was very pleased when I read the recent announcement that the V. I. Lottery was contributing $2.3 million to the Government Employees Retirement System to aid economically challenged government retirees. The Source reported this story on August 1, 2009.
You may not be aware of this fact, but the video lottery program is set up so that nearly $10 million in annual revenues derived from video lottery terminals, except for some minimal oversight costs, are available for vital government programs, just such as this supplement to government retirees. Video lottery revenue from St. Thomas and St. John is the only significant source of Lottery funds for these government programs, which benefit residents of St. Croix as well.
I am pleased that Governor John de Jongh, Jr., Senator Carlton Dowe, and Lottery Executive Director Conrad Francois jointly recognized the usefulness of the funds derived from video lottery terminals and are using a portion to help cash-strapped government retirees. Needless to say, this contribution for retirees would not have been possible without the video lottery terminal program.
Revenues from video lottery terminals are divided by percentages between the V. I. Lottery, Southland Gaming of the Virgin Islands, and the retail locations that operate and promote the machines. In addition to payments to government retirees, portions of the funds given to the V. I. Lottery are required to be used for the V. I. Educational Initiative Fund, Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged Fund, and General Fund.
Southland Gaming is proud to be involved with the video lottery program in the Virgin Islands, because the revenues generated for the V. I. Government are used for such worthwhile programs that benefit the citizens of the Territory
Robert E. Huckabee, III