Cockfighting featured at Carnival for first time - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Cockfighting featured at Carnival for first time

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - For the first time in a long while, cockfighting is being featured at the Liberation Day Carnival in Tiyan.  As far back as he can remember, Liberation Carnival chairperson and Agana Heights mayor Paul McDonald says cockfighting has always been up for bid but nobody has ever showed an interest.

"The chickens usually are molting when the carnival starts, but this year the carnival started early and some people were interested," he explained.  

Nobody submitted a bid this year, so the Agana Heights Athletic Organization took over due to interest from numerous cockfighters. The non-profit organization has been around for 20 years and sponsors youth sport teams and helps with village activities. Mayor McDonald says the organization paid the one thousand dollar minimum bid.

And just like fiestas, McDonald says the governor can sign a proclamation that would allow cockfighting and gambling like the casino for the liberation day carnival. Rev & Tax director John Camacho concurs, saying, "Gambling is illegal on Guam unless its specified by law, and one of the laws that says if the governor's proclaims puts out a proclamation then they can have this, like casino going on or cockfight."

Camacho adds Rev & Tax's Regulatory Division is responsible to ensure the organization complies with the rules and does an inspection every now and then. McDonald meanwhile says it's hard to gauge right now how much will be made, but says cockfighting has brought a more diverse crowd to the carnival than usual.

"It's nice to see an organized cockfight where you can see who's there and actually making money from these guys because it generates a lot of funds for our programs and activities," he said.

The cockpit normally starts going around 9pm until late at night depending on how many roosters are signed up to compete. McDonald adds proceeds which include a percentage of winnings and admission fees go to logistical items like the construction of the cockpit and utilities. Thereafter, other funds go to the organization to support the youth teams in the village. 

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