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Raising the stakes on the Liberation Carnival casino

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The Committee Chair on Finance and Taxation just raised the stakes. Senator Joe San Agustin has forwarded a committee report on legislation that would kill the casino at the Liberation Carnival. This now sets the stage for the bill to be added to next week's session agenda.

Senator Telena Nelson is pretty sure the deck's stacked in her favor at least to get Bill 50 on the table. "I believe I have enough support to bring the bill onto the session floor," she said.

Senator Joe San Agustin had been holding out from adding Bill 50 to the , because the Mayors Council hadn't submitted documents he wanted to include in his committee report. But with pressure from anti-gambling groups like Lina la Sin Casino and Keep Guam Good, he folded and turned in the report anyway. When session convenes now all senators will be forced to lay their cards on the table.

Nelson said, "Anything can happen we cannot control the future we can just hope and pray for the best."

The Mayors Council of Guam says if the bill passes they stand to lose big time because the proceeds from the casino have been the major funding source for liberation festivities, memorial and other activities in their respective municipalities. MCOG President Paul McDonald says the stakes are high, adding, "By golly, that would be a bigger fiasco - I'm pretty sure whoever is involved will file suit and the government cannot afford any suit coming."

Meanwhile, Guam Liberation Historical Society Executive Director Heidi Ballendorf stepped down from her position. Her resignation follows Liberation carnival committee chairman Mayor Robert Hoffman saying Ballendorf misspoke when she told media if there's no casino there's no carnival. Hoffman clarifies the committee will meet next week to discuss possible alternatives if Bill 50 becomes law. 

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