A Major Horse Racing Project in the U.S. Virgin Islands

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - December 22, 2016

The U.S. Virgin Islands is launching a major new project to transform its horse racing facilities.

The project will transform the Clinton E. Phipps and Randall “Doc” James racetracks on St. Thomas and St. Croix, respectively.

The Government of the Virgin Islands and Virgin Islands Gaming, Ltd. have entered into an agreement allowing VIGL to operate the horse racing facilities for 20 years.

The arrangement commits VIGL to developing the tracks to meet the standards of the horse racing industry nationwide – which will include resurfacing the racing track, general repairs, construction of amenity buildings for veterinary surface, accommodations for the public and barns for the horses.

The promoter is required to invest at least $27 million at the racing facilities and tracks, and provide at least $2 million per year in racing purses.

Under the ratified agreement, VIGL will operate “racinos,” or race tracks with a casino component, to produce the revenues to support the improvements, track operations, and purse offerings.

Lance Griffith, President & CEO of VIGL, advised Governor Kenneth E. Mapp that survey work is underway to determine what space will be required to accommodate the planned structures and finalize the purchase and acquisition of land.

Griffith estimated that, after plans for the facilities are finalized and approved by the government and the required permits are obtained, construction of the racing facilities can begin by July 2017.

— Dana Niland, CJ Contributor

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