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Online Casino News - Online Casino Review: Pharaoh’s Casino

Tension Growing Between Kahnawake and Canada

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

December 03, 2007

For most of the veterans who have been working in the online gambling industry since the mid-nineties, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission is a familiar name. One of the largest licensors and "regulators" of online casinos, the Mohawk tribe certainly has reaped a hefty penny in licensing fees. So much so in fact, the Canadian government is beginning to take a closer look after all this time.

Although the First Nation enclave of Kahnawake believes they have sovereign rights to issue gambling licenses to online casinos and all forms of internet betting sites for that matter, the Canadian government is wielding a card saying only the government has the right to issue gambling licenses. This train of thought was certainly behind the raid that went down little over a year ago - a raid not on Kahnawake, but rather, on the Montreal area offices of the famed online casino, Golden Palace. Kahnawake, by the way, is only an hour's drive outside of Montreal.

Following a $2 million fine/settlement with Golden Palace Casino's owners, the Cyber World Group, the Canadian government, perhaps assuming the Mohawks are unfamiliar with the Canadian constitution, made it clear to Kahnawake that what they are doing is against the Canadian Criminal Code. And while it's true the government can go after online casino owners, much like the U.S. has been doing to a certain extent, the Mohawk tribe claims their rights to regulate online gambling are protected under Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution.

It certainly makes you think they are right, considering Kahnawake has never been under the radar by no means. According to tribal leaders, their servers now handle 60% of the Web traffic being used by the 440+ betting sites they license. However, perhaps it is this fact that has caused the Canadian government to become more aggressive. Although the Mohawk tribe claims the world thinks they are doing a good job regulating online gambling, an increasing number of players are begging to differ. The recent cheating scandal at Absolute Poker was under the regulation of Kahnawake, while an increasing number of online casinos blacklisted for failure to make payments to players are also Kahnawake sites.

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