Guam – Archbishop Anthony Apuron released a statement Tuesday afternoon urging Guam Senator to “respect the will of the people of Guam and listen to them” by voting “No” on Bill 20.
The Archbishop argues that Guam voters have consistently opposed gambling. Bill #20, he argues, would “legalize “gaming” machines, which includes “slot machines” for the sake of helping the hospital.”
“To allow slot machines is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” states the Archbishop, warning Senators to “think about what you are doing! Think of the many lives you will hurt should such a legislation is passed.”
READ the statement from Archbishop Apuron below:
Regarding Bill 20,
“The GMHA Healthcare Trust and Development Act of 2013”
During the past twenty (20) years, we, the majority of Guam voters, have consistently fought and voted against gambling. Now a Bill is being considered to legalize “gaming” machines, which includes “slot machines” for the sake of helping the hospital.
While the end is praiseworthy, the means is an affront to the voters who have made their thoughts clear regarding gambling. It would be more prudent for everyone that the management of revenues in the hospital be corrected, thus addressing the source of the problem.
To allow slot machines is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The reverse logic of “Robinhood” would be instituted putting the burden on the poor by robbing them to pay for the ineffective handling of finances. This would be like treating a symptom without properly addressing the cause of the problem. We cannot continue to jeopardize the social fabric of our society by relying on the false notion that casino gambling is the answer. Rather, it is the scourge that will have a damaging effect for generations to come. People’s lives will be ruined and many families will be broken. Think about the many lives that will be jeopardized if such a bill is passed. I encourage the people of the Territory to do their civic duty as citizens and call our elected officials to let your voice be heard.
I encourage the senators to vote down this irrational logic. The people of Guam have said NO to casino gambling in the past six (6) initiatives. The people have spoken consistently; they do not want casino gambling. I urge the Senators in the name of the community to vote “No” on Bill 20! I say to the Senators and to the Governor: RESPECT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE OF GUAM AND LISTEN TO THEM! For decades the people of Guam have repeated their intention against casinos. If Bill 20 is passed, it will give evidence that the Legislature will have effectively gone AGAINST the WILL of the people. Senators, think about what you are doing! Think of the many lives you will hurt should such a legislation is passed.
/s/ Most Reverend Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap. ,D.D.
Archbishop of Agaña
May 28, 2013