Guam senators this afternoon unanimously approved Bill 50, legislation that would plug a loophole that has allowed casino style gambling at island carnivals and fiestas.
Anti-gambling advocates have expressed hope the legislation would become law to stop a casino that’s being developed at Paseo de Susana park in Hagåtña for the Liberation Carnival.
It’s unclear if the casino being developed at Paseo would be affected by the ban because its permit was issued before the legislation was passed. The governor has yet to decide whether to sign the legislation into law.
The Mayors’ Council, through the nonprofit Guam Liberation Historical Society, whose officers and board of trustees are mostly elected mayors, hosts the annual Liberation Carnival and allows a casino operator to run gambling at the carnival grounds.
The council’s president and Agana Heights Mayor Paul McDonald has said without the casino revenues, he would recommend the governor cancel this year’s carnival because casino funds pay for carnival expenses.
Mayors’ Council Executive Director Angel Sablan confirmed to The Guam Daily Post four Guam residents, led by Jason Rui, shown in legislative records as a former nominee to the Guam cockfighting board, received the permit to run the casino at the carnival.