Gambling is illegal in the BVI and can land anyone found guilty of committing such offence in prison. A report from the Office of the Deputy Governor that was tabled in the most recent House of Assembly sitting reminded of this fact and listed the special circumstances for which permissions can be given to perform Games of Chance activities.
According to the report the holding of Games of Chance activities such as gambling, betting, lotteries, sweepstakes, bingo, etc is an offence punishable with imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1000.00.
However, it was noted that under section 301 (8) of the Criminal Code, 1997 the Governor in Council may approve social and charitable organizations or turf clubs to hold Games of Chance.
It was noted that Executive Council (now Cabinet) specified 12 categories under which organizations have been approved to hold Games of Chance. These categories are: Chartitable/Caring Organizations, Community Service Clubs, Performing Arts Companies/Group, Religious/Church Groups, Recognized Sporting Associations, Recognized Youth Organizations, Public Service Staff, Associations/Unions, Private and Public Schools, of the Territory, Volunteer Emergency Responder Organizations, National or Country Associations, Family reunion committees, and District Improvement Committees (non-political).
“In addition ten individual organizations have been approved to hold Games of Chance. The organizations are: BVI Botanic Society, BVI Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society, Alumni Class Groups of the Elmore Stoutt High School and the Bregado Flax Educational Centre, Elmore Stoutt High School and the Bregado Flax Educational Centre Prom Committees, BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association, Mrs. BVI Globe, The Charter Yacht Society of the British Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee, BVI Philatelic Society, and the Association for the Advancement of Small Business,” the report noted.