Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas on Friday issued a ruling striking down the regulations governing the licensing of gaming machines after ruling that the Department of Revenue and Taxation exceeded its authority by submitting the regulations to the Guam Legislature without complying with the Administrative Adjudication Law.
In a release announcing the decision, Attorney General Leevin Camacho is quoted as saying that “our laws prohibit gambling machines and we now have a court decision that eliminates any argument that these machines can lawfully be licensed under gaming regulations.”
The Department of Revenue and Taxation “must follow our laws and the court’s decision and revoke any gaming licenses and not reissue or renew any gaming licenses,” he said.
Carlina Charfauros, spokeswoman for the AG’s Office, told PNC: “At this point, what we are doing is we are looking to the Department of Revenue and Taxation because they are the agency that handles the licenses for these gaming devices and so we have taken the position that these should… that DRT needs to follow the law and that they need to revoke the licenses and so the actual licenses connected to these gaming devices.”
The Guam Attorney General petitioned the court to invalidate the gaming regulations arguing that the Department of Revenue and Taxation failed to provide public notice or hold public hearings and failed to submit an economic impact study.
Judge Barcinas agreed and granted the Attorney General’s motion for summary judgment and the request for declaratory judgment.
Camacho said “the court’s decision affirms the position that this office has taken for over a decade: gambling devices cannot and should not be licensed in Guam.”
Judge Barcinas also rejected arguments that the Legislature retroactively approved the gaming regulations.
Assistant Attorney General Marianne Woloschuk and former Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Orcutt handled the matter on behalf of the Guam Attorney General’s Office.