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PUBLIC HEARINGS SET ON CASINO APPLICATION

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June 18, 2001 — Next week, almost eight months after Golden Gaming LLC filed an application to develop a casino-hotel on St. Croix, the Casino Control Commission will hold public hearings on the proposal.
The hearings, set to begin on Monday and run through Wednesday if necessary, are the culmination of eight months of background investigations into Golden Gaming by the V.I. Gaming Enforcement Division. All casino applicants are subject to a background check before the CCC will approve a project.
Golden Gaming's casino license application is the fourth filed with the commission since 1996; only one has resulted in a casino-hotel being operated on St. Croix.
Golden Gaming’s application is for a Tier II hotel-casino to be built on the east end of St. Croix. For a Tier II hotel, which must have 300 to 1,400 rooms and a 10,000-square-foot casino, the fees are $200,000 for the first two-year license and $175,000 for the one after that.
St. Croix’s first casino, at the Divi Carina Bay Resort, opened in March 2000. A second application, by a Colorado-based company, was rejected by the commission after the company said it would need to add the mandated number of rooms over time.
The third application was from St. Croix businessman and attorney Mario de Chabert. His project, an eight-story, 193-room casino-hotel on his family's property near Sunny Isle Shopping Center, is in limbo because de Chabert is suffering from health problems.
Along with the intensive business management background check, other steps taken before a application is approved include:
— Verification of the project's financial viability.
— A feasibility study to determine if the island can support a second casino.
— Public hearings.
— Payment of remainder of the license application fee.
Those wishing to testify at the public hearings, which are to start at 9 a.m. Monday at the Casino Control Commission building in Orange Grove, should file a written request to do so with the commission by Friday, June 22.

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