Officials investigating illegal cockfighting - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Officials investigating illegal cockfighting

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Cockfighting on Guam is legal only at a licensed establishment. But it's not the cockfighting authorities are after, it's what's happening on the sides that has the police Department of Revenue & Taxation taking a closer look and putting those involved in illegal activity on notice.

The Guam Police Department and Rev & Tax have put the owners of the Dededo Cockpit on notice. "Over the month we have been receiving information along with the Rev & Tax that there was alleged illegal card gambling over at the Dededo Cockpit, said, the Guam Police Department's Lieutenant Ron Taitano. He says the dome is licensed by the government and is allowed to operate cockfights and nothing more.  During the holidays a group of officers and Rev & Tax staff visited the business.

He said, "Revenue agents made the entry, we went in after that they met the business owner apprised them of he information we were receiving and warned them in accordance with the business laws and tax laws of Guam to cease any card playing on the premises. The owner agreed to comply and we forewarned the owner as well that we have been receiving information about illegal activities."

Police say the illegal activity includes alleged drug distribution and card games.  While authorities found no evidence of criminal activity during their recent visit, they promised they'd be back if they continue to receive credible information. "If we continue to develop information and at least anything evidentiary that establishes probable cause, then we will be back to make arrests," said Taitano.

Lieutenant Taitano says police aren't just putting the Dededo Dome on notice, but all others in the community who may be hosting illegal games for profit such as card games and illegal cockfights.  GPD is currently investigating several leads about individuals involved in this illegal activity, with Taitano saying, "The house is making a profit off of this gambling, and in order for that to happen you have to have a gambling license."

Those found in violation can be shut down and their business license could be revoked. Also, island mayors also host cockfights during village fiestas, but those require approval from the governor as well as Rev & Tax.

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