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All bets down: session to determine fate of Liberation Carnival

Casino or no casino? That question now hangs in the balance of what lawmakers will do when session convenes Tuesday morning.

Despite major pushback from many in the community, efforts to make the casino happen at the Liberation carnival moved ahead. The casino – it’s the first sign that the Liberation carnival is just around the corner.

Rudy Matanane, Yigo Mayor, told KUAM News, “This casino is helping us finance the carnival and the parade and if they can come up with funding for that then maybe we won’t need this but you know this is the only source of income to get the carnival and parade going.”

Workers spent the afternoon cleaning up the inside as construction of the carnival casino is nearly done. Mayor Matanane was also on site checking out the progress. Anti-gambling groups have called on senators all weekend to move the measure that would get rid of it entirely onto the session floor.

“Let them do it, but I just hope that if they push for this casino to close that they have the funding for the carnival and the parade,” said the mayor.

Longtime Guam resident, Stanley Wilson, is also taking issue with the casino stating, the mayor’s council seems to think they can simply do as they wish, despite the fact that the voters of Guam have voted three times to not allow casino gambling on Guam. “This casino ain’t going to create a new breed of gamblers because that’s what they are saying it’s hurting the families but you know in the past maybe three four or years I’ve stayed in this casino for hours because I was ground chairman and I didn’t see any families getting hurt,” he stated.

Meantime, Mayor’s Council of Guam president Mayor Paul McDonald says the liberation carnival committee will meet this week to discuss the issue. He also says committee chair Robert Hoffman will serve as acting executive director of the Guam Liberation Historical Society following Heidi Ballendorf’s resignation.

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