25 Jun 2013

Guam senators vote to end gambling, after it pays hospital debt

3:09 pm on 25 June 2013

All gambling could become illegal on Guam after senators passed a measure tying it to the hospital's finances.

Bill 19, which was unanimously approved in yesterday's session, allows some forms of gambling to temporarily continue on Guam in order to subsidise the Guam Memorial Hospital and other public agencies.

According to the Pacific Daily News, the bill states that as soon as the financially troubled hospital has its vendor debt erased, all gambling will become illegal.

The heavily subsidised hospital has traditionally lost money every year because of poor collections and uninsured patients.

It owed 18 million US dollars as of March.

The final version of the bill passed yesterday after heated debate and numerous amendments that at one stage caused the Speaker, Judith Won Pat, to call the house into recess.

The bill will now go to the governor's office to be signed into law.