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Guam Mayors’ Council Still Looking for Compromise on Casino Gambling Permission at Liberation Carnival

The President of the Mayors’ Council and the Governor of Guam are still supportive of the possibility of permitting casino gambling during the 75th Liberation Day festivities.

As reported by CasinoGamesPro lat week, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said that she does not support casino gambling on the island to be allowed for good, but she would not oppose casino-style games to be offered as part of the annual Liberation Day Carnival. The President of the Mayors’ Council, Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares, also confirmed her support for the games at the Carnival in case that there is a bidder for casino gambling.

Until now, games of chance, including casino-style games, have been considered the major source of income to fund the Liberation Day festivities. However, a couple of years ago, Vice Speaker Telena Nelson rolled out a bill to ban casino gambling and games of chance as a whole and the proposed piece of legislation was passed, leaving the Liberation Carnival without its primary source of funding.

In January 2019, Senator James Moylan suggested that mayors should be given the authority to bring games of chance to the carnival. Vice Speaker Nelson, however, answered to that proposal by filing Bill 33 only a few days later. The proposed piece of legislation aimed at transferring all responsibilities related to the organization of the Liberation Day celebrations from the Mayors’ Council to the Guam Visitors Bureau.

As CasinoGamesPro revealed on Friday, Senator Nelson decided to withdraw her Bill 33 as an act of compromise as respect for the mayors. She, however, said that her stance on Bill 29 seeking to allow games of chance to be offered as part of the 75th Liberation Day festivities remains unchanged. She also rolled out another measure, Bill 43, which would allow the mayors to keep their control of the Liberation Day celebration organization but would also guarantee that games of chance remain banned in Guam.

Some Residents Are Also Supportive of Casino-Style Games at Carnival

Despite the turmoil which possible addition of casino-style games to the Liberation Day festivities has caused, it now turns out that many residents also back the idea in case that proper regulations are in place. Some community members revealed that casino gambling brings revenue to their community and shared they see nothing wrong with it being offered if the competent authorities make sure proper regulations are unveiled, too.

Last week, both non-profit groups offering licensed bingo games and mayors told Senators that if permitted, games of chance, including casino-style and bingo games, are expected to bring no less than $500,000 to the 75th Liberation Day festivities. However, not all senators are supportive of the idea.

Many residents have expressed an opinion that gambling needs to be properly regulated, as sometimes casino-style games are being offered after the end of the festival, and that is a problem. Still, Guam residents explain that the money from casino gambling can help mayors revive the festival and make it more exciting.

For the time being, mayors have managed to keep the lead when it comes to Liberation festivity preparations. They have been trying to reach a compromise with Guam senators, calling for them to think outside the box so that no government money is used on the carnival’s organization, as games of chance could bring them the necessary funding.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.