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Carnival, non-profit bingo may close
THE island’s senior citizen centers and non-profit organizations may no longer be able to hold bingo games if Prop A, the bingo initiative, meets the required number of votes and passes this November.
The matter was brought up during yesterday’s Mayors’ Council of Guam meeting and a draft resolution was passed around for the mayors to review and vote upon.
MCOG Vice President Robert Hofmann said the initiative contains language that would “not authorize bingo other than the facility formerly known as Guam Greyhound Park,” thus possibly creating a monopoly.
“I know the Guam Election Commission will be sending out the voter initiative to the voters of Guam. GEC is preparing that and they’re waiting for comments for and against it. I know there are some concerns that, should this initiative pass, we will not have bingo at our man'åmko' centers anymore, nor [will we be able to] host the Liberation Day Bingo,” Hofmann said.
As GEC works on the arguments for and against the bingo initiative, the mayors are also closely studying the bingo initiative, especially its possible impact on the senior citizen centers and the Liberation Carnival.
“Whether you want to oppose it together as a group, that is something we can decide,” Hofmann told the members of the Mayors’ Council.
The resolution was about to be voted on, but Yigo Mayor Bob Lizama said he had not even read the bingo initiative and wanted to review the document first before making a decision on the resolution.
“We’re already reacting to an initiative before reading what it entails. I’m not saying I’m for this initiative, but we have to make a sound decision to be fair to our constituents,” Lizama said.
“Let’s go back to our own council and review this before we make a decision on it,” he added.
Voting on the draft resolution was tabled so the mayors and vice mayors could formally review the intentions of the initiative.
Keep Guam Good
Meanwhile, the Keep Guam Good organization that was active in speaking out against gambling initiatives in the past is up and running again.
Jay Arriola, a member of the group, said they are planning a campaign against the initiative.
“We’ve been meeting over the past few months,” he said. “We hope that once again, the electorate, the voters, will see through Guam Greyhound’s empty promises and once again overwhelmingly reject their efforts at a monopoly bingo license.”
Keep Guam Good plans to submit their arguments on Prop A to GEC and is willing to debate the issue with the proponents.
“We think that once the people of Guam carefully review this proposal, they will reject this initiative as they have in the past on the other gambling proposals. They’re pretty much the same thing. We just get a lot less promises this time,” Arriola said.