In the United States territory of Guam, a local lawmaker has reportedly proposed legislation that would shut down the practice of weekend gambling at a fairgrounds facility located near the small community of Tiyan.
According to a report from local television broadcaster KUAM-TV, the measure from Guam Senator Michael San Nicolas, which is known as Bill 29, would stop the system of allowing local mayors to apply for temporary weekend permits in order to run village gambling parties where games such as craps, blackjack, bingo and roulette alongside Texas hold‘em and Pacific poker are offered.
The broadcaster reported that the festivities at the Old Casino Building in Tiyan have long been held as a way to help local communities celebrate their particular fiestas but the custom has recently drawn criticism from the Lina La Sin Casino anti-gambling group, which last month called on Guam Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson and John Camacho, Director for the Guam Department Of Revenue And Taxation, to launch an investigation into the practice.
The Pacific Daily News newspaper reported that the nearby villages of Sinajana and Talafofo had been given temporary permission to operate weekend gambling-related activities in October in order to celebrate their Saint Jude and San Miguel fiestas while the community of Agana Heights held similar casino events in late-November and early-December to mark its Our Lady Of The Blessed Sacrament celebrations.
“The year-round operation of the Tiyan casino is a legal loophole that needs to be closed,” San Nicolas told KUAM-TV.
If passed, Bill 29 would see local communities only permitted to offer gambling within their own boundaries while KUAM-TV reported that San Nicolas’ measure has been introduced following positive consultations with the Mayors Council Of Guam. The group’s Executive Director, Angel Sablan, explained that there was no intention to transform Tiyan into an all-year gambling hotspot but some mayors had opted to use the facility due to an alleged lack of suitable space in their own communities.