Guam – After initially announcing its cancellation, Mayors’ Council of Guam President Agana Heights Mayor Paul McDonald says if they can be allowed to have a few games of chance like the color game and beto beto they can have the carnival without the casino. Mayors say without the casino and other games of chance last year’s liberation carnival was a disaster.
“You know Clynt, the carnival last year was really a real failure. Not more than a hundred people at the carnival that came. Total! This is almost total. For the duration of the carnival. Because there’s no interest,” said Mayor McDonald.
The mayors say this is because a law was passed and enacted that banned not only casino gaming but all games of chance including games that have always been at the carnival like the color game that some people know as the pay red pay red game and beto beto.
“This is only the games that were not inside the casino it’s not the casino that we are asking for its just the games and we spoke with the governor and he’s a hundred percent totally in agreement with us,” said Mayor McDonald.
The Mayors’ Council sent a letter to the governor asking that the law be amended to allow these games. “There was never a time when the color game had not existed in the carnival,” said Mayor McDonald adding, “I just hope that the carnival will be revived again and come out and enjoy themselves and I know that we will do better with the games coming back again.”
Kelly Barnhardt says she and her kids hope there will be a liberation carnival too.
“My kids look forward to the carnival every year. Summer break is a time where they have free time they like to play they like to go do things as a family. It’s been a tradition of ours for, I’ve been married 15 years, so it’s been a tradition for 15 years,” said Barnhardt.
“What do you think about the mayors cancelling the carnival this year?” asked PNC.
“It’s ridiculous totally ridiculous. If its off gambling? Gambling wasn’t bred or imposed here on Guam. That’s not the way Guamanians are brought up or the Chamorus let’s say. They are given, they hold parties they don’t charge for parties,” said Leon Guillermo.
Others say that because of our GovGuam finances we should just cancel the liberation festivities all together.
“They should cancel it because they are saying they’re gonna lay off people they’re gonna have problems with health insurance and all these things. Pay the, pay all the, catch up on their bills and then never mind about the parade, never mind about the carnival. We don’t need that now, later on next year when everything is good,” said Franklin Hill
“The financials of Guam you know, but right now you know what can I say they’re trying to do everything they can to save and do all of these things so I guess you know I hope that they are going to solve this problem,” said Dado Razon.
PNC reached out to Senator Telena Nelson for her thoughts on all of this as she introduced the bill that banned the casino and games of chance at the carnival. She did not return our calls as of the publishing of this story.