AG files suit against DRT for renewal of licenses for amusement - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

AG files suit against DRT for renewal of licenses for amusement devices

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by Mindy Aguon

GUAM -  As it did five years ago, the Attorney General's Office is taking the Department of Revenue and Taxation to court over the renewal of licenses that it believes are gambling devices. As we reported, it was just earlier this year that the AG's office and all the parties involved in the five year litigation agreed to drop the case.

 

The AG's office however hasn't changed its position from five years ago -- that the machines in question, such as liberty and Uncle Sam, were illegal then and are illegal now. The question of their legality resurfaced last month after legislation was debated on session floor that would tax these specific devices and revert the revenue to GMH. According to DRT director John Camacho it was because of the dialogue during the committee of the whole, that was the basis for the decision to move forward to renew the licenses. DRT, with advice from the governor's legal counsel, believes that regulations were promulgated several years ago authorizing the licensure of only those amusement devices that were registered before August 1, 2001. AG Leonardo Rapadas however argues in his complaint that there's an explicit conflict here between regulation and the law. The AG points out that although the regulation states that certain gaming devices are authorized and may be licensed on Guam, the law prohibits the licensing of gambling devices.

According to the complaint for declaratory judgement because the law and regulation conflict, the law must be followed and DRT's proposed regulations are void and lack in force and effect.

DRT director John Camacho declined to comment saying that he will need to find outside legal counsel to represent his agency.
 
Also named as defendants in the complaint: Governor Eddie Calvo, Atlas Amusement Enterprises, Darryl Styles with D & D Games and Guam Music inc.

 

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