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Gaming tax revenues not as anticipated

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - Hopes for the revenues generated from the gaming tax law are not stacking up.

There were big expectations for the revenues generated from the gaming tax but since the first check was cut in October of last year Guam Memorial Hospital administrator Joseph Verga says they have only received a total of $373,000. "The revenues have not been coming in regularly in any scheduled time the last time we received any revenue from the bill was May 29th," he said. "So we received the $58,000 installation prior to that we have not received any revenues I believe since February."

Signed in Kuly 2013, Public Law 32-60 taxes gaming devices that were the subject of a five year old lawsuit and gaming activities, and diverts the revenue to the Guam Memorial Hospital to establish an urgent healthcare center. According to Verga however the amount of money they've received thus far isn't enough, as he said, "And the revenues have not produced the level of revenue that was initially anticipated we had envision having a lot more money in the account to set up urgent care right now then we do."

Verga has sought assistance from committee chair on health Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr who he says has assured him that he is working to remedy the situation, saying, "We haven't used any of the revenues yet as you know the revenues that we have received are all going to urgent care but since urgent care is not ready to be operational yet we are working on setting up urgent care."

Verga anticipates the Urgent Care Center will be operational in the fall and that the funds will be used to recruit the necessary staff and clinicians to work in the facility. 
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