Supreme Court Sends Gaming Device Case Back to Lower Court

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas who had dismissed the gambling device case last year without prejudice.

Guam – The Supreme Court of Guam reversed the decision of Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas in the case of certain gaming devices in which the AG’s Office sued the Department of Revenue and Taxation over the issuance of licenses for hundreds of gaming machines.

 

Last year March, Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas dismissed without prejudice a case the Attorney General’s Office filed against the Department of Revenue and Taxation that asked the court to deem a number of gaming machines illegal.

Judge Barcinas dismissed the case without prejudice, citing a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Barcinas, at the time, believed that the AG failed to exhaust its administrative remedies by failing to request that Rev and Tax review the validity of the law.

In an opinion authored by the Supreme Court of Guam justices, Judge Barcinas’ decision was reversed. The justices say they were not persuaded by Rev and Tax’s argument that the AG lacks standing.

The justices also agreed with the AG’s Office that they didn’t have to request Rev and Tax to review the complaint because it would’ve been futile to do so based on the fact that Rev and Tax had already made it clear through prior actions.

Because of this, the Supreme Court believes that the AG’s Office was correct in bringing the case to the Superior Court.

The case stems from the licensure of certain gaming machines over others. But the Attorney General’s Office has repeatedly opposed the licensure of all gambling devices, especially those that are games of chance.

The justices remanded the case back to the Superior Court for further proceedings.

You can read the opinion by clicking on the file below.

 

Opinion_1.pdf