Propst questions gaming establishments’ operations

Posted on Mar 26 2020

With two of Guam’s confirmed COVID-19 cases traced to a bingo parlor, House minority leader Rep. Edwin K. Propst (Ind-Saipan) believes there is cause to be concerned about poker parlors that remain open on the islands.

“In Guam, two cases of confirmed coronavirus cases were traced to Hafa Adai bingo hall,” Propst said in a live feed via his social media page. “Guess what? Travel around the island: Poker [arcade] after poker [arcade are] still open…”

Beginning Tuesday, businesses, including casinos, video poker establishments, e-gaming facilities, and others engaged in gaming are only allowed to operate and open their facilities to the public from 6am to 1pm, as an added directive to the executive order issued by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres. Social distancing—keeping a distance of at least 6 feet of each other— must also be strictly observed in these facilities.

Propst questions how gaming establishments are protecting the people that congregate in their facilities. “We have to ensure that we’re doing the right thing, that we are looking out for each other. But…when you have poker and other establishments that are still going on, it’s not a good precedent for anybody when we’re telling people [to practice] social distanc[ing]…,” he added.

In Guam, it was reported that Hafa Adai Bingo closed its operations indefinitely for the safety of its customers. The establishment also sanitized its facility daily since the announcement of the three positive COVID-19 cases.

Propst also appealed to members of the community to cooperate, stressing that the CNMI has the most vulnerable people, with almost 19% already having health problems.

“We have 11,220 of our people whose health are already compromised. Add coronavirus to the equation and we have a medical crisis within the CNMI. …Think about the others. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing as a loving, compassionate community?” he said. “We are better than this. We have to ensure that we’re better than this. …We have to cooperate before our government has to do lockdowns, and come in and declare things that we don’t want to be done to us.”

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at
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