Loss of GovGuam revenues from gaming discussed

Senator Sabina Perez (PNC file photo)

Guam – While opting not to take a position on Bill 69-35, the Department of Revenue and Taxation agrees that the bill would increase the revenues of the government of Guam from gaming taxes.

Bill 69, which had a public hearing Wednesday morning, seeks to correct the current definition of gross receipts for gaming activities.

Senator Sabina Flores Perez said her bill now makes gross receipts cover the total revenue from any gaming activity and no longer subtracts any payments for any winnings made.

DRT Director Daphne Shimizu, testifying on Bill 69, agreed that the government is losing money because of the current language of the rule on gross receipts for gaming.

She referred to a report conducted by the Office of Public Accountability which stated that:

1. GovGuam lost the opportunity to collect an additional $2.6 million in limited gaming tax based on financial statements from non-profit organizations from calendar year 2014 through 2017; and

2. These losses occurred because of the inconsistent definition of “gross receipts” in the Guam Code and Guam Administrative Rules and Regulations.

The OPA report also stated that Form 3260s, a monthly reporting form used for gaming gross receipts, were not timely processed.

In her testimony, Shimizu assured that DRT is already working to facilitate the filing of Form 3260s online.

She also pointed out that the change in the definition of gross receipts can be done quickly.

Shimizu added that changing the gross receipts language in gaming would make the gaming industry more consistent with the taxation of other industries on the island.

For her part, Perez said she hopes her colleagues will support Bill 69, as this will correct an important discrepancy and stem the revenue loss for GovGuam.