Supreme Court: Gambling machines illegal

Jesse Mendiola, in this November 26, 2019 photo, talks to reporters after filing a criminal complaint against the peddlers of illegal gambling devices.

It’s final. The Liberty machines and associated gaming devices that led to so much violence and destruction on Guam will not be coming back unless senators allow it. In breaking news from the Office of the Attorney General of Guam today:

The legal battle that has spanned a decade over whether certain gambling devices can be lawfully licensed in Guam has finally ended today following an Opinion issued by the Supreme Court of Guam. In its Opinion, the court agreed with the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) position and affirmed the trial court’s finding that the Department of Revenue and Taxation’s (DRT) gaming regulations and issued licenses are void because DRT submitted them to the Legislature without public notice, public hearing, or an economic impact study which are required by law.

“It is both rewarding and humbling to finish the work that was started thirteen years ago. The hard work and dedication of our Litigation Team made today’s successful outcome possible” said Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho. “The court’s Opinion affirms the position that this office has taken since day one: gambling devices cannot and should not be licensed in Guam.”

In 2008, approximately 1,200 gaming devices were being licensed in violation of Guam’s amusement devices licensing laws. The OAG informed DRT that the electronic gaming devices were illegal and advised DRT not to renew the licenses. Litigation followed, and the OAG requested the court to revoke the licenses. A third party intervened and filed a new lawsuit in an attempt to force DRT to reissue the licenses. The case was resolved in 2013, but within that year the enactment of a new law triggered the OAG to once again take action.

Assistant Attorney General Marianne Woloschuk argued the case on behalf of the OAG.

Click below to read the judgment from the Supreme Court of Guam:

OAG Prevails Gaming D&O 12.21.22 2021Guam22

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