Montserratian Gambling Laws
By Reno Rollins
Casino gambling is not legal in Montserrat. Pari-mutual betting and card rooms are also prohibited. A state-run lottery, however, was approved by a 6 to 5 vote of Montserratís legislature on April 30th, 2003.
The state lottery, expected to be available via the Internet, was supposed to launch by the end of May 2004, with 8% of all monies going to help the nationís government. However, a thorough search of the Internet showed no evidence that the lottery is in operation at this time.
In 1990, an attempt to legalize all forms of gambling in the country was soundly defeated.
Montserrat, a British overseas territory, is located in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. It is 10 miles long and 7 miles wide, and often referred to as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean. It lies 300 miles east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 30 miles southwest of Antigua.
The country was given its name by Christopher Columbus in 1493. He named the island for Montserrat Mountain found in the Barcelona region of Catalonia. Local residents all speak English, although with a distinctive accent.
The country is divided into three parishes. These include:
- Saint Georges Parish
At one time, Montserrat was a popular tourist destination. Beatles producer George Martin even opened a studio on the island, drawing such celebrities as Sting and Stevie Wonder. However, the last few decades have not been kind.
In 1989, Hurricane Hugo damaged 90% of the islandís structures. Then, in 1995, the volcano located on Soufriere Hills became active and forced the evacuation of two-thirds of the islandís population. The capital of Plymouth was covered in 40 feet of ash and has since been abandoned. Southern parts of the islands are now uninhabitable.
In 1994, the pre-eruption population was 13,000. Many did not return after the volcanic activity, and the islandís 2002 population was estimated to be 8,400.
The official currency of Montserrat is the Eastern Caribbean dollar.
In 1998, residents of Montserrat were granted full residency rights in the United Kingdom. In 2002, they were also granted full citizenship.
Montserrat has its own FIFA football team, and they have twice competed in the World Cup qualifiers.
United Kingdom Gambling
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