Nelson renews bid to ban gambling at carnival

Senator Telena Nelson (PNC file photo)

Vice Speaker Telena Nelson has introduced a bill that would prohibit gambling devices and games at the Liberation Carnival in future years as well as at any other fair or carnival on Guam.

Introduction of Bill 226-35 follows questions raised last week by Public auditor Benjamin Cruz about the accuracy of the revenues collected from the gaming activities and the amount of taxes paid by the vendors who ran the games this year.

The vendors bid just over $400,000 for the rights. However Cruz pointed out that they apparently lost money because they reported net revenue of about $380,000. Subtract the $15,000 they paid in taxes and, Cruz estimates, they lost about $40,000.

Cruz said he doesn’t believe the revenue report because he doesn’t know anybody that would run a business which would lose money.

Gambling games returned to the carnival this year after lawmakers approved and the governor signed into law a bill authorizing the mayors council to devise rules and regulations to govern the games.

That overturned Sen. Nelson’s previous bill banning gambling at the carnival which became law in 2016.

A hearing on Sen. Nelson’s latest proposal to ban gambling games at the carnival has not yet been set.

Bill No. 226-35 (COR)