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CARAMBOLA SEEKS CASINO DEAL

Nov. 20, 2003 — A proposal for a possible third casino resort on the island of St. Croix popped up this week during discussions before the Economic Development Commission.
Preliminary details presented by the management of the Carambola Resort bore similarities to plans discussed by members of the 25th Legislature for a public-private partnership in the development of a convention center. But the head of the EDC said that in this case the plan calls for such a partnership in developing the casino instead.
EDC Chief Executive Officer Frank Schulterbrandt said that so far, talks with the new management at the Carambola Resort — JS Carambola, LLP — are just entering the discussion phase. Issues involving property ownership and licensing by the Casino Control Commission will have to be addressed, he said, before the plans can proceed.
Resort representatives were among the first group of applicants applying for benefits under the program that offers economic incentives to companies willing to set up shop in the territory.
"An applicant, in his presentation, mentioned a casino and also a convention center to be developed as part of that particular property," said Shulterbrandt. "He mentioned that he would partner with the government of the Virgin Islands on the casino end."
Schulterbrandt pointed out that local casino laws allow for such an arrangement, but the details would have to be worked out before the Casino Control Commission.
JS Carambola applied for full benefits which, if granted, would run for a 10-year period if operating near Christainsted and for15 years if set up near Frederiksted.

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