Video Lottery opens at Wharfside

Vlt
If you just have to gamble, St. John’s willing to help.  The new Parrot Club caters to folks who like action with 55 Video Lottery Terminals blinking and flashing.   It’s at Wharfside Village in the newly remodeled and air-conditioned space where Larry’s Landing used to be. 

Wikipedia says a Video Lottery Terminal “is similar to a slot machine, except that it is connected to a centralized computer system that determines the outcome of each wager using a random number generator … VLTs can be thought of as computerized scratch-off lottery tickets.”

Southland Gaming is the business behind the Club. It also operates two gaming machine franchises on St. Thomas and the Divi Carina Bay Beach Casino on St. Croix.

The general manager of the Parrot Club is Brian Conley. He gave the St. John Sun Times’ Bob Tis a tour during a soft opening late in July. He described the Club’s many flat screen TVs,
plush carpeting, and bar. The long-time reporter also saw “a
line of shiny young women with platinum hair and makeup … waiting to
fill out applications for employment.”

Conley said, “Some people love it, and some people don’t.  But this is going to be a very upscale entertainment center and I think it is enhancing the entire complex.” VLT’s are also available on at Fred’s, Cap’s Place, and the laundromat.

14 thoughts on “Video Lottery opens at Wharfside”

  1. Farewell, St. John. I’m heartbroken, but I know now, for a fact, that the island sinking to a desperate low and it will NEVER be the same. St. John was the shining jewel, the unique, precious, special place in the Caribbean, but that’s gone. You may gain the gambling crowd, but in exchange you’ll lose the people who come to your island because they love and respect and appreciate YOUR ISLAND. Fools…take a good look at the mainland, and at other islands…look at EVERYTHING THAT COMES WITH that first slot machine, and see what is coming. One video slot may sound “harmless.” But once that beast arrives, it grows. You’ll be seeing them more and more, in all kinds of places. And the people who play it aren’t the ones who can afford to, so there comes with it a massive social impact. I feel for those of you who live on St. John because it was that jewel that had no NEED of the sleazy money that gambling brings. Those that enjoyed the peace and tranquility. Will it happen overnight? No…but watch and see. I do not think I will return with my vacation dollars.

  2. This is so sad it breaks my heart to think that St. John has succombed to the lure of gambling. I am not against gambling BUT how many neighborhoods and lives does it have to ruin before you get it that you don’t want it in your backyard.

  3. Wouldn’t you think the local officals would realize what a gem they have in the little village of Cruz Bay? The reason long time visitors keep returning and love Cruz Bay is because of the quiet mix of local stores, markets and restaurants/bars. We don’t want to be around gaming machines, flashing lights and casinos. There is a place for the Parrot Club and it is Las Vegas! Think of the dollars normally spent in Cruz Bay stores, restaurants and bars that will be diverted to slot machines. Do the business owners in Cruz Bay have a voice in deciding who their retail neighbors are? Are there no guidelines in support of establishments that actually compliment each other? It’s a blatant disregard for the laid back ambiance that is Cruz Bay and those responsible should be ashamed.
    Greyhoundmom

  4. I agree with all the other comments. Sad day for St.John. Bring on more crime,drugs and low lifes who can’t afford to gamble but will do anything to “pay for their fix” SAD,SAD,SAD.

  5. So sad for STJ in the long run…say goodbye to tourists with money & hello to even more crime, drugs, low-life lifestyle. Not a place I’d like to vacation to anymore….so, so sad for your lose.

  6. What is happening to this Wonderful Island? Who voted this one in? So much for the quaint Cruz Bay. This is NOT want we want to see when we come here for vacation. PLEASE stop the madness.

  7. Here are 2 informative websites about what is about to happen on St. John. You may have to copy and paste the URL’s into your browser. An excerpt:
    “Video slot machines are the “crack cocaine” of gambling because of their addictive nature. People become addicted more quickly, lose more money more quickly, while buying into false promises of winning.
    In 2002, the Rhode Island Gambling Treatment Program identified video slots as “the most addictive form of gambling in history.”
    Addiction cycle is much shorter – about 1 year to become addicted.
    30-50% of revenue from VLTs is generated from compulsive gamblers.
    80% of casino revenue is from addictive slot machines.
    In 1994, South Dakota closed all video slot machines for 3 months – the number of gamblers treated per month dropped by 93.5%.”
    Read it all at:
    http://www.texasgop.org/site/PageServer?pagename=library_gambling
    and at:
    http://www.lifespan.org/rih/services/mentalhealth/gambling/research/
    People who live on St. John, what are you doing? Better phrased, what AREN’T you doing? Get on the phone, take a boat to St. Thomas and raise cane… do everything you can to STOP this from happening!

  8. How utterly sad! Some of us actually travel from far and wide to seek the peace and beauty St John has to offer. May as well just deplane and stay in St. Trauma (St. Thomas) and fight with the guys directing everyone to the awaiting taxis. I guess they now can come over and apply for a new job!

  9. I don’t think that this marks the end of civilized life on STJ. There have been VLTs on the island for a few years. Their presence does not appear to have had much impact, since most posters here seem to have been unaware of them. What’s new is that someone is trying them out in an upscale setting.
    This isn’t going to turn STJ into a gambling destination. VLTs don’t have much lure for serious gamblers. They’re about as classy as scratch tickets. I imagine the drinks will be a lot cheaper at Caps and Freds, so I don’t know who they expect to attract. Businesses are going under, the huge construction projects are stalled. I think any taxi driver on STJ could tell you that this isn’t going to last very long—maybe not even as long as the ill-conceived martini bar. In the spirit of the Parrot Club, I’m betting it’s gone in less than two years, maybe sooner.

  10. I do not believe slot machines will be the ruin of beautiful St. John. Gambling and slot machines have been a favorite pass time for some who live on island. While tourist are more inclined to spend their time at the beaches. The Parrot club will just be another business that will close in a short time. However, the blight on the hillsides of the Sirenusa and Grande Bay condominiums will unfortunately be around for a very long time.

  11. Note to tourists.
    VLT’s will not be a draw to those who are gamble. Anyway, I’ll bet, pun intended, that it isn’t around in two years. Anybody starting a going out of business date pool yet.

  12. I notice that most negative comments come from those who only visit yearly. I lived on St John for 8 years and there was always gambling there. You just didn’t know about it because you are tourists and didn’t frequent any of the local places that have the games. My suggestion is to do the same with the Parrot Club. No one will forcibly drag you in there and make you gamble. If the locals like it, they will patronize it and it will stay in business. If not, it will fail. Simple as that. The places that have survived for years are geared for the locals anyway. Just because you show up for one week a year and go to a place one night of that week will not make or break it. Nor does it give you the right to tell the residents what their island needs or doesn’t need. Get over yourselves!

  13. For you locals, continue to keep your gambling machines and whatever else you do HIDDEN and out of sight to the tourist people and even locals that do not want to see those money eating machines,that ruin your life anyways. If you place the Gambling machines on wharfside toursist can’t help but see those ugly machines,not only that but there’re so LOUD. So what! If vacationers come only 1 or 2 wks a year we’re the people that keep your island alive and prospering.There is still a chance to break the spirit of gambling. I protest!!!
    Please, don’t continue to cast a shadow over ST.Johns.The construction is bad enough!
    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t St.Johns island suppose to be preserved and that the construction should be very minimal according to the Rockefeller Preservation of the Island? Heavy heart!!
    the man who owned it

  14. Not to nitpick, Ophelia, but the island is called St. John, not St. Johns. The locals are not trying to hide anything from the tourists. I merely was pointing out that there has always been gambling and that this is nothing new. The residents have a right to do whatever they want on their island. You can’t please everyone who visits the island or lives there.
    While tourists do keep the island alive and prospering to an extent, you must remember that the locals have to survive there 52 weeks a year. They have to support themselves and their families when tourism is down or it is off season. Going to the beach while they wait for your arrival doesn’t pay the bills. The Parrot Club is not a new place so I didn’t understand your construction reference. The spot it’s in used to be a bar called Larry’s Landing so no one destroyed any land to put the club in.
    The National Park has a large percentage of the island and that is protected but the rest of the island is fair game. Whoever owns property can build on it as they choose as long as it is done legally just like anywhere else. I really don’t like the construction but nothing stays the same forever. People want to live there and that’s what causes the construction of homes and businesses. If no one built anything you wouldn’t have anywhere to stay or eat. There also would be no one to wait on you or take you to a beach. It isn’t the place where I once lived but neither is the town I grew up in.

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