by Mindy Aguon
Guam - For the fifth time the people of Guam have resoundingly said no to any sort of gaming. Yesterday more than 20,000 island residents voted NO on Proposition "A", the for-profit bingo initiative introduced by the Guam Japan Friendship Village. (And that doesn't even include the 3,200 ballots that were left blank, which counts as a no vote, as well.)
Committee to Keep Guam Good's Jay Arriola says he was pleased with the strong showing, telling KUAM News the 65%/35% split was the best ratio they have ever had to previous gaming initiatives. Arriola says he hopes lawmakers take a second look at the initiative process, noting, "A lot of the people we've been meeting with in the villages have been asking why do we have to continue to do this and how many times do we have to do this and where is the transparency in this process, so the initiative process deserves a second look at it and see if there's some type of reform that can be enacted as a result of all these different initiatives that come before voters. I mean, it costs time, costs money and a lot of efforts.
"It is not at no cost to the people every time we have to consider this."
Arriola added that he believes the last-minute media blitz and campaigning by proponents ended up hurting the initiative, as residents were left with unanswered questions about the initiative's real intent.