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Attorney General Leevin Camacho continues to be unswayed by Blood Money

Attorney General Leevin Camacho continues to stand firm in his opposition to liberty machines and the Blood Money that flows from them.

Kandit News asked the Attorney General the following questions: “On February 1 the attorney general reaffirmed his commitment to ending the operation of Liberty machines. I attached the news release from the OAG for your reference. May we have a statement regarding his stance today? Also, does he believe that these machines and the gamerooms, restaurants, and children's amusement parks that they are in are harming our society? Does he believe the senators should tighten the law to prohibit these machines? Would he support a referendum to get rid of these machines?”

Today we received his response which shows his very firm stance against these gambling machines. According to the Attorney General, “Our position remains the same: these machines are illegal under Guam law. Later this month, the court will hear arguments on our motion where we will contend that the machines should not be licensed. We would respect any clarification that could come via a change of our current law, whether in the form of a referendum or an act of the Legislature.”

The Supreme Court of Guam is expected to issue a mandate in a case involving the issuance of gaming machine licenses, bringing the involved parties one step closer to knowing whether or not gaming devices are legal under local law. In February of this year General Camacho stated the following: “The position of the Office of the Attorney General has not changed in the decade-long question of whether gaming devices are legal or not. The Office firmly maintains that gambling devices cannot and should not be licensed on Guam. We will continue to take whatever action is necessary to see that the law is upheld and gambling devices are not licensed.”

In 2008, approximately 1,200 gaming devices were licensed in violation of Guam’s amusement devices licensing laws. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) sued the Department of Revenue and Taxation (DRT) to revoke the licenses. DRT revoked them after a court order. Then, Guam Music, Inc. (GMI) intervened in the case and filed a new lawsuit against DRT in an effort to force them to reissue its gambling machine licenses. The parties agreed to dismiss the two cases in 2012.

The OAG believed that this meant the gambling devices would remain unlicensed because it is not legal to license gambling devices. DRT, however, then issued gaming machine licenses. In response, the OAG filed its current case arguing that DRT should be prohibited from issuing gaming machine licenses. The Supreme Court’s issuance of the mandate will trigger the Superior Court to rule on two pending motions filed in 2016. The OAG’s motion deals with the merits of gaming regulations. The OAG has argued that the gaming regulations are invalid because they were submitted by DRT to the Legislature without complying with the Administrative Adjudication Law and they exceed DRT’s authority. After the proceedings in the Superior Court have run their course, the OAG expects a Supreme Court ruling that will ultimately decide the validity of the gaming device regulations once and for all.

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