Guam passes bill to tax and ban gambling

 

The Guam Senate unanimously adopted a bill to tax all forms of legal gambling to pay off the vendor debt of Guam Memorial Hospital and then ban all gambling once that is done. The Senate had been considering a bill to tax gambling machines for the benefit of the island’s only public hospital which was set to run out of money next month, but the Senate speaker pulled that bill off the agenda amid disputes over the legal status of the machines. The new bill requires a gaming commission to be set up and to come up with regulations within 180 days. Nonprofit groups and mayors are concerned about the ban the bill would put on cockfighting, as well as bingo and raffles use for nonprofit fundraisers and at festivals. Governor Eddie Calvo has 10 days to decide whether to sign the bill. The hospital has $18.8 million in vendor debt.