9 Jul 2013

Controversial Guam gambling bill lapses into law

1:29 pm on 9 July 2013

Guam's governor, Eddie Calvo, has failed to make a decision on a controversial bill that will ban gambling on the island, instead allowing the legislation to lapse into law without his signature.

The legislation, known as Bill 19, will tax gambling on Guam in order to subsidise the Guam Memorial Hospital and other public agencies.

But the bill states that as soon as the financially troubled hospital has its vendor debt erased, all gambling will become illegal.

The Pacific Daily News reports the governor as saying he decided against vetoing the bill because it benefits the hospital, but he won't sign it into law because it was defective and some of its provisions never had a public hearing.

Some gaming company owners say they are planning a federal lawsuit to challenge the law as they say it's unfair.