Mayors working on games of chance rules

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Bill 29-35 is now Public Law 35-4. Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed the legislation Thursday allowing the Mayors’ Council of Guam (MCOG) to draft the legislation’s rules and regulations for the Guam Legislature’s review and approval. (PNC file photo)

With only 60 days left until Guam’s Diamond 75th Liberation Celebration, mayors are on a race against the clock – with the hopes of getting senators to approve the proposed rules and regulations for games of chance.

Bill 29-35 is now Public Law 35-4. Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed the legislation Thursday allowing the Mayors’ Council of Guam (MCOG) to draft the legislation’s rules and regulations for the Guam Legislature’s review and approval.

According to the Angel Sablan, MCOG executive director, a draft will be ready by Friday. The draft would have to be ratified by the council before sending to the legislature.

“The legislature has its own time frame of 30 days to approve or reject the rules and regulations. So, members of the governor’s office, members of revenue and taxation – we are all getting together and putting this draft together,” Sablan said.

On Newstalk K57’s Morning’s with Patti, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero reiterated the vital role the Department of Revenue and Taxation plays in the process of possibly getting games of chance back on carnival grounds.

Leon Guerrero said she knows the rules and regulations are propagated by the mayors’ council, with the the help of DRT and the Department of Administration. She said she has requested DRT to work closely with the mayors since the matter is time sensitive.

With not enough space within the carnival grounds, there have been some concerns on the establishment of an area designated for particular card games. But the bill’s author, Sen. James Moylan, stressed the importance of keeping the games within the carnival grounds.

He said it would entice people to return to the area and add revenue to support the operations of the carnival.

“It would have to be enclosed. Whether it be a tent or whether it be a container, it is just temporary, just temporary for these 60 days, then it has to be closed down and removed off the property because that’s still a park,” Moylan said, adding, “In the rules and regs. we’ll probably see that everything will be included in the carnival grounds.”

Meanwhile, one of the potential provisions that may be included in the list of rules and regulations is the “no cash-based” operation, according to Sablan.

“That’s what they want to put in the rules and regs. They want to use chips and or tickets and then, at the end of the day, when you’re done, you go change your chips or tickets for cash,” Sablan said.

According to Sablan, this would address concerns about having enough regulating officers from DRT to monitor the gaming operations. He adds that additional packets will soon be available, once the rules and regulations are approved by lawmakers and games-of-chance will be allowed to grace the carnival grounds once again.