Guam Legislature Approves Ban On Casino-Style Gambling At Fiestas

Bill which was strongly opposed by mayor's council, awaits Governor's signature

By Shawn Raymundo

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 26, 2017) – Lawmakers Friday unanimously passed legislation to ban casino operations from the annual Liberation carnival and village fiestas.

Pending Gov. Eddie Calvo’s approval, the measure, Bill 50-34, would repeal a section of Guam law that has allowed the Mayors’ Council of Guam and the Liberation Historical Society, a non-profit group, to run gambling activities during fairs and fiestas.

The Mayors’ Council has opposed the measure, stating that Liberation activities rely on the revenue generated from the casino operations. This year, the carnival is being moved to Paseo de Susana in Hagåtña from the Tiyan fairgrounds, and the first structure to go up was the casino.

Freshman Sen. Telena Nelson, D-Dededo, who wrote the bill, thanked fellow lawmakers after the vote Friday afternoon.

Earlier this week, Nelson had criticized the mayors over the casino operations and noted that there is very little known about how the casinos are managed during the annual Guam Island Fair Liberation Day Carnival.

“Who is in control of the casino? We could never get a straight answer … Where are the detailed expenditure reports? Where are the documents indicating the taxation and revenue?” Nelson asked. “Little to nothing is known about the casinos.”

The governor will have about 10 days to either sign the bill into law, veto it, or let is lapse into law.

Pacific Daily News
Copyright © 2017 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

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