Critics protest gambling at Wharfside

Reaction to our story about the opening of Captain’s Cabin Games and Sports Bar at Wharfside Shopping Mall has been almost unanimous: NOMY (Not on my island!).  Comments about the availability of horse race betting and video lottery terminals on the second floor of the center prompted two suggestions that what was likely to come next would be a Hooter’s bar. 

"We’re building a home on St. John to get away from this sort of low-life garbage," wrote Bill Hoffman.  "This is truly depressing.  I’m not only depressed, I’ve moved on to anger" added Dee.  "I really doubt the paradise worshipers will go for this type of cheap, low class entertainment," added Steve.

However, at least two posts were supportive.  "Get real people," wrote Ronnie.  "It’s inside a building not bothering anybody."  He continued, ominously some might say, "It will only be a matter of time that there will be a real casino … maybe even on St. John."  A comment from SJ said, "I think it is a good idea.  I love horse racing." 

Several calls to the person identified as Wharfside’s manager, for comment, were not returned.

7 thoughts on “Critics protest gambling at Wharfside”

  1. WE HAVE SPENT MANY WINTERS ON ST. JOHN AND HAVE SEEN MANY CHANGES. THIS LAST SUGGESTION, GAMBLING AT WHARFSIDE IS SO TOTALLY NOT WHAT WE COME TO ST. FOR. THER IS FOXWOODS, LAS VEGAS, MONHEGAN SUN, ETC. PLEASE DON’T DESTROY OUR BEAUTIFUL ST. JOHN. IF YOU DO, WE WON’T BE COMING BACK, AND I DON’T THINK THAT WE WILL BE ONLY ONES NOT COMING BACK. IF “THEY” WANT GAMBLING, LET THEM GO TO ST. MARTIN AND SUFFER THE CRIME AGAINST TOURIST. PLEASE DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN TO ST. JOHN.

  2. However, at least two posts were supportive. “Get real people,” wrote Ronnie. “It’s inside a building not bothering anybody.” I AM QUOTING WHAT I READ, ONLY TO RESOND MORE CLEARLY — THAT THIS TYPE OF ACTIVTY ON MY FAVORITE ISLAND WILL ENTICE MY LEAST FAVORITE PEOPLE TO IT’S SHORES…. EXACTLY WHY I DON’T GO TO PLACES LIKE VEGAS AND DO COME TO ST. JOHN…. KEEP THIS PART OF THE WORLD AS IDYLLIC AS POSSIBLE BY KEEPING THIS TYPE OF LOWLY ENTERTAINMENT “OFF MY ISLAND’

  3. You guys need to lighten up a bit – what’s the big deal? First of all, based on what we know about Wharfside’s turnover ratio, they’ll probably be out of business in 6 months. More importantly, what’s the big deal? If people want it, it will prosper, and who are you to tell others what they can and can’t have? And one more thing about ‘change’. When you first set foot on St. John, YOU changed it forever… everything that happens on St. John that’s new or different creates change, no matter how minor. People that say things like ‘don’t change our quaint little island’ make me crazy. Who the heck are you to determine what the island should be or not? I’ve been coming to St. J for 20 years, and was lucky enough to live there for 10 of those years, so I’ve seen dramatic changes made over the years. Some wwere good, some not so, but all were threads in the fabric of island life. Learn to go with it. At least it’s not a stop light.

  4. The problem with the “upscale gambling establishment” at Wharfside Village is that it
    opens the door for more. What’s next, a casino at
    the Westin, slot machines at Skinney Legs?
    I’m only a visitor to St. John, so I can’t change what local people want for their island. But you have a treasure there that draws people who are looking for anything but gambling, big box stores and glitzy resorts that isolate tourists from the people who live and work on the island. It’s even sad to see so many overblown villas springing up. The beauty of St. John has been, for me, its natural beauty, small restaurants and shops that cater to local people as well as tourists and that sense of the old caribbean despite the escalating growth and change of the last decade. It draws me back and will until
    its no longer the St. John I long for when winter
    rolls around up here in New England.

  5. Greetings, and warmest regards from New York. I am so ashamed about the present state of crime on St John. I have been visiting the island for almost 37 years now, several times per year. I not only own land there, but I purchased a condo with the dream of living on island (retired NYS,law enforcement) to oversee my “dream home” being built. As we speak, my son is on island teaching and experiencing problems with low pay, lack of affordable housing, and general malaise about island living. My concerns are not only for safe and affordable housing. St John used to offer people from all over the globe a place to move to and find their dreams come true. Things are not what they used to be. My son is very unhappy with his move on the island he had hoped to help improve, after his some 16 years of educational studies in New York. God bless all our children. He will return stateside soon (soured), but will anyone be as willing to relocate as he was to work and educate our fellow Americans in the USVI? Very sad, but true. New Yorker

  6. It is so sad to hear this. I’ve been coming to St. John for more than 25 years and fell in love with the island the first time I saw it. Since then I have hopped around the Caribbean, but I’ve never found a place that compares. The people who come to St. John and spend big bucks to do so are the sort who are trying to get away from all the low-life activities that gambling and casinos bring. One only has to look closely at St. Martin/St. Maarten, for example, to see how this sort of enterprise has ruined that island. You cannot leave a car unattended for five minutes wihtout it being broken into, thieves even break into hotel rooms while guests are sleeping, one step outside the hotel room door at even some of the nicer places on the island and all you see is squalor and seediness, dirt and trash. I would hate to see that happen to St. John.

  7. It is no longer the same island we fell in love with. Crime is on the rise and we have liquidated our holdings and started construction in St.Barts.

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