Oct. 20, 2003 – The territory's gambling industry has contributed $26,000 to public education under the terms of a law that took effect in August, Sen. Carlton Dowe said on Monday.
The legislation, sponsored by Dowe, calls for 25 percent of the V.I. Lottery's proceeds from its contracts with private gaming operations such as Caribbean Lotto, Powerball and video lottery gambling to go into the V.I. Education Initiative Fund.
The legalization of video lottery gambling was the subject of acrimonious political debate and public protest in the first three and a half months of this year. It became the law of the land when the 24th Legislature in its final session last Dec. 23 overrode the governor's third veto of VLT enabling legislation. The governor tried in vain this year to get the legislation repealed.
Dowe said on Monday in a release that he is pleased at the results of his measure so far. "This is real money that will go a long way to help the schools in the territory," he said. "These initiatives are a win-win situation."
The release noted that Dowe also introduced legislation that the governor signed into law in September appropriating $100,000 for a new air-conditioning system in the Michael J. Kirwan Elementary School cafeteria, which also serves as the school's auditorium.
The cafeteria at Ulla Muller Elementary School is next on Dowe's list. He has requested the drafting of legislation to appropriate $500,000 from the interest earned on bond proceeds to expand and air-condition the cafeteria.
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