OAG prevails in gaming machine lawsuit; Supreme Court finds gaming regulations, licenses void

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Gaming machines. (file photo)

The legal battle that has spanned a decade over whether certain gambling devices can be lawfully licensed in Guam finally ended Tuesday following an Opinion issued by the Supreme Court of Guam.

In its Opinion, the court agreed with the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) position and affirmed the trial court’s finding that the Department of Revenue and Taxation’s (DRT) gaming regulations and issued licenses are void because DRT submitted them to the Legislature without public notice, public hearing, or an economic impact study which are required by law.

“It is both rewarding and humbling to finish the work that was started thirteen years ago. The hard work and dedication of our Litigation Team made today’s successful outcome possible” said Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho. “The court’s Opinion affirms the
position that this office has taken since day one: gambling devices cannot and should not be licensed in Guam.”

This was the third appeal in this case alone and the fifth appeal heard by the Supreme Court of Guam in total involving the licensing of electronic gaming regulations.

In 2008, approximately 1,200 gaming devices were being licensed in violation of Guam’s amusement devices licensing laws. The OAG informed DRT that the electronic gaming devices were illegal and advised DRT not to renew the licenses. Litigation followed, and the OAG requested the court to revoke the licenses. A third party intervened and filed a new
lawsuit in an attempt to force DRT to reissue the licenses. The case was resolved in 2013,
but within that year the enactment of a new law triggered the OAG to once again take
action.

Assistant Attorney General Marianne Woloschuk argued the case on behalf of the OAG.

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