Violet Anne Golden nominated as chairwoman of V.I. Casino Control Commission


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ST. CROIX - Gov. John deJongh Jr. has renominated Violet Anne Golden to a second term on the V.I. Casino Control Commission, this time as chairwoman.

"I am humbled by the governor's decision," Golden said, adding that he could have selected anyone. "He knows I love the job, I do. I do it all in the interest of the people."

Government House announced the decision in a prepared statement released Monday afternoon.

The Casino Control Commission comprises five seats, although only three seats currently are filled.

Besides Golden, the other members of the commission are Roderick Moorehead and Henry Richardson. Richardson is from St. Thomas.

Golden's renomination, which is subject to the advice and consent of the Legislature, is for a second five-year term. Golden's first appointment was in April 2009, according to Government House.

Membership on the commission is restricted by law to two five-year terms.

Golden was elected vice-chairwoman at the commission's 2013 and 2014 annual meetings and has served as acting chairwoman since January 2013, the release said.

It quoted deJongh saying that Golden "has demonstrated a willingness to serve in this important capacity, and has shown leadership in advancing Internet gaming on the world stage. It was her persistence in pursuing legal advice and my administration's belief that if implemented properly, the Virgin Islands can be a gaming leader in this region, and can compete nationally."

The governor also praised his appointment for the contacts she has established in the industry and the respect he says she has garnered.

He also touted what he described as her "strong leadership skills," and said he looks forward to working with the commission in the coming months "to ensure that our land and future Internet-based casino operations receive the attention they deserve."

The release said that within two months of being elected vice-chairwoman of the commission in 2012, Golden submitted a request to the Attorney General about the legality of Internet gaming in the Virgin Islands.

Following up on that issue has brought the concept of pursuing Internet gaming in the territory to the forefront, a move that supporters say could help improve the territory's economy and outlook.

The governor called Golden's appointment a critical one at this point.

Golden said she is excited about the prospects of developing Internet-based gambling operations in the territory - and about the possibility of expanding the role of the commission beyond the regulatory aspect and into economic development for St. Croix.

"I see good things in 2014 for us," she said.

According to biographical information Government House provided, Golden is a member of the Republican Party of St. Croix, president of the Girl Scouts of the Virgin Islands, Inc., and a United Way of St. Croix board member. She was a senator in the 23rd Legislature and her career has included working as a teacher, as well as a consultant and adviser.

The annual salary for a member of the Casino Control Commission is $100,000. The chairwoman of the commission receives an additional $5,000 per year.

- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email jblackburn@dailynews.vi.

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