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Resident opposes gambling at Carnival

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - Ana Flores had no luck before the Mayors Council of Guam on Wednesday. Hoping to present her case why she opposes gambling at the Liberation Carnival, mayors instead decided to entertain her concerns in August, when the carnival will be closed and the casino's doors will be shut.

Flores, a 73-year-old Tamuning resident, will have to wait another month before the MCOG will hear what she has to say about casino gambling. On May 10 she submitted a letter asking the Council to reconsider the opening of the casino at the Liberation Carnival in june. Mayors Council Executive Director Angel Sablan said, "Basically she's just stating her own opinion that casino is evil and has no part in the Liberation festivities."

Flores made several phone calls, sent several e-mails, and personal visits to individual mayors and still no action. During their June meeting, the Mayors Council delayed the meeting to July. "So when I talked to Mr. Sablan about the June 15, I was anticipating that there will be one. Then I talked to him on the phone and he says we're not having any meeting. We're having it in July," she recalled.

During today's meeting the Council voted to cancel their meeting later this month to meet with Flores and other special requests for audience and instead be entertained in August. "All we're saying is for the month of July, all the mayors and vice mayors are very busy with Liberation festivities," said Sablan. "So they opted to cancel July's meeting and move it to August."

Come August, the Liberation festivities will be long over. According to Sablan, even if the Mayors Council met with Flores as scheduled on July 20, the casino and Liberation Carnival end four days later. "The point is, they're very conveniently switching their days so I won't be there. That's really not very nice, you know," she quipped. "We've taken the money, the bid fees taken by this organization and for us to just stop it right now, who's gonna pay back that money? Who's going to be liable for it? It's certainly not going to be Mrs. Flores," Sablan added.

According to Sablan, choosing to delay their meeting with Flores as well as continue to allow the casino to operate in no way shows that their Council supports gambling. "The mayors and vice mayors are not pro-casino. We're not here to ask that the casino be legalized. This is an activity that happens during the Liberation festivities and is allowed by law. All the Mayors Council is doing is something allowed by the laws of Guam," said Sablan.

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