Guam Vice Speaker Nelson calls foul on gambling bill
It's clear that efforts to eliminate casino gambling from Guam non-profit events were not ended by passage of current law to that effect.
Sponsored by Senators James C. Moylan, Jose "Pedo" Terlaje, Joe S. San Agustin and William Castro, introduced Bill 35-29 in what some see as a foot in the door for a return of legal gambling as a fundraiser at non-profit events.
"The intent of this legislation is not to authorize gambling, but to provide the Mayor's Council of Guam the opportunity to justify and establish rules and regulations for review to determine whether limited games of chance can once again be authorized at the Guam Island Fair, the Liberation Day Carnival or any other fair or carnival that the governor has issued a proclamation for," the bill states.
"Some of the quandaries that led to the passage of the bill (34-15) related to concerns associated with having rules in place or even having a plan for how the games are procured, managed and how the funds are disbursed."
Vice Speaker Telena C. Nelson released the following statement on the introduction of Bill 29‐35, which seeks to authorize the Mayors Council of Guam to establish rules and regulations related to games of chance at fairs:
“Less than two years ago, my colleagues and I voted unanimously to end casino-style gambling on Guam through a widely supported measure. Public Law 34-15 lapsed into law in June 2017, closing a loophole in our law that allowed casino gambling at fairs and carnivals. This law was put forth and prioritized because of the voice of Guam’s people, who five times since 2000 have rejected gambling. How many times will the people’s voice be ignored? I believe village projects and programs need more support than they have, but gambling was not a sound solution two years ago and it isn’t one now.”