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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (February 2, 1999 - Samoa News)---The House of Representatives is once again being put under the microscope by both opponents and supporters of a bill that would ban all forms of gambling following the passage of a proposed law by the Senate.

During its third and final reading yesterday, the Senate, in a 13 to 2 vote, passed the legislation during the same day that the Tauese Administration scheduled the full enforcement of a 1989 ban on all poker machines that arrived on-island after that law went into effect.

Governor Tauese has said that all poker machines that do not qualify under the 1989 ban will not be re-licensed, and by Feb. 1, if those machines have not been removed, his administration will enforce the 10-year-old law by physically removing the illegal devices from the island.

A similar bill to ban these devices was rejected by the House last year prompting protests from religious organizations and other anti-gambling supporters.

No date has been set by which the House must review the current Senate legislation, but the representatives are expected to hold a public hearing before deciding on the proposed law.

The bill prohibits all gambling, including raffles and pools for sporting events, except charitable group bingo games offering prizes of $250 or less.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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