Guam officials split on gambling machine taxes


Officials in Guam are sparring over a bill to tax gambling machines to raise an estimated $3 million to $5 million a year for Guam Memorial Hospital, the public hospital on the island which officials say could run out of money by July. Governor  Eddie Calvo expressed support for the bill that would impose a 4 percent tax on the machines’ gross revenues as well as direct income taxes, gross receipt taxes and licensing fees from the machines’ owners to the hospital. Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas however argues that the bill would legalize the machines which he argues are illegal. The island’s tax department issued licenses for some 500 machines last month after two court cases arguing their legality were dismissed. Guam voters have repeatedly voted down measures to legalize gambling.