Yap To Vote On Proposal To Ban Gambling

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

News Release

Yap State Government Colonia, Yap, Federated States of Micronesia

October 6, 2014

Yap voters in November will get to decide on the proposal to amend Article XIV of the Constitution of the Sate of Yap, by adding a new Section 12 "to prohibit all forms of wagering, gambling and games of chance conducted with the object of commercial gain, benefit or advantage, whether open to the general public or conducted in private."

This proposal, which was approved as Resolution 8-102 by the Yap State Legislature, has raised a few concerns from the executive branch.

In a letter to lawmakers, Lt. Gov. Tony Tareg said:

"First, and on a scale of less importance, is that Resolution 8-102 strives to prohibit any and all acts of wagering, gambling and games of chance for commercial gain, benefit or advantage. This is fine; but it is specifying and redundant.

"Besides, 11 YSC 601 already makes gambling criminal

"If this law is insufficient, then amend it to reflect the value of the people of the state, but leave the Constitution as the framework free of specifying prohibitions."

He added, "The second graver and related concern is the time-frame in which to conduct public education in order for the public to make an informed decision regarding their vote on the proposed constitutional amendment."

After much consultations and discussions, the Yap State Legislature on Sept. 26, 2014, transmitted Bill 8-179 which appropriates $114,356.00 from the general fund of the state of Yap for the purpose of funding the public education for the proposed amendment to the Yap State Constitution.

Given the limited time left before the election, a team is now being assembled to go through training to enable them to reach out to all communities in Yap.

The budget does not include public outreach/education outside of the state, so the team will have to set up the information electronically with hopes that the people outside Yap will be informed through that medium.

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