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Online Casino News - March, 2008

Canada Eyes Online Casinos Licensed in Kahnawake

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

March 5, 2008

In our last news article, we discussed the motions by the French and Canadian governments to crack down against online gambling activities (for their various reasons and motivations). For France, their motivation is clearly about protecting their monopolistic state gambling empire, which hypocritically now seeks to cater to UK online gamblers, yet wants to keep its own citizens from gambling at foreign operated online casinos - even those regulated by jurisdictions like Malta and UK, which fall under European Union law.

And so now we turn our attention to the Canadian government, where threats to prohibit online gambling seems to be more in line with those motivations of the U.S. - a tinge of conservatism with carve outs for the horseracing industry. In a recent report by The National Post, the Canadian government is openly talking about putting an end to online casinos and betting sites licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. For anybody unfamiliar with Kahnawake, it is a Mohawk Indian tribal enclave located within Canadian borders. As for the Gaming Commission, it is one of the largest licensors of betting sites in the world.

In fact, the Kahnwake Gaming Commission has perhaps grown too large for its own good. Although there are many excellent online casinos regulated by Kahnawake, such as the Casino Rewards group, Captain Cooks Casino, some bad one's have been able to slip through the cracks. Recently kept off of the UK online casino whitelist, the Commission was also associated with one of the largest online poker cheating controversy's to date. The commission itself was not guilty of any wrong doing. However, the way in which they handled the scandal was nothing short of  sweeping things under the rug.

But for the Canadian government, it isn't a personal vendetta against the Mohawk tribe. Other measures to crack down on online gambling activities, including moves to prevent Canadian citizens from making financial transactions with online casinos, resembles more of the initial actions of the U.S. when it began an onslaught against online gambling activities. There have not been any "big busts" or arrests of CEO's, but Kahnawake could very well become the high profile target the Canadian government would need to show it means business.

The Mohawks of Kahnawake, however, need only say two words: Sovereign Nation. Since they are indeed a sovereign nation, Canadian laws do not apply to them. This is their argument and defense. Furthermore, the Mohawks are hiding behind Section 35 of the Constitution, which specifically protects Native Culture. Well, I didn't know online gambling was a part of native culture, but I guess if the flood of money coming in from online gambling activities helps to sustain culture, then they have a point. Time will tell if Canadian Minister of Justice, Rob Nicholson will be able to back his offensive.



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