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Online Casino News - May, 2008

Kahnawake Defends Online Casino Licensing in Canada



  Seed Newsvine

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

May 14, 2008

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Well, although the Ottawa and Quebec governments have not said they will team up with the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to regulate the online gambling industry, you can't help but wonder whether they are seriously considering the offer (or at least kicking themselves). Yes indeed, the Mohawk once reached out to Canadian officials back in 1999 to jointly license and regulate online casinos, which Kahnawake is now successfully reaping.

As the Canadian government makes open-ended threats to do something about Kahnawake's online casino licensing empire, former Grand Chief Joe Norton recently spoke at the Canadian Gaming Summit to tell his side of the story. Norton referred specifically to transparent meetings held with Canada and Quebec regarding the tribe's plans to to create Mohawk Internet Technologies.

And although former Native Affairs Minister, Guy Chevrette, told Norton he personally favored such a collaboration between Quebec and Kahnawake, Chevrette was ultimately persuaded by his superiors that online casino gambling was an illegal activity and that it could not be condoned. Since that time, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was formed, and Quebec has been forced to sit back and watch them rake in millions/billions while listening to their own land-based gambling industry complain on the sidelines.

Now that Canada is taking an openly aggressive stance with the Mohawk tribe regarding their online gambling exploits, the Kahnwake Gaming Commission is stepping up to defend itself. They are also calling for legislation to recognize online gambling as a legitimate aboriginal activity under the Canadian Constitution. And while that is definitely a legitimate request, both the federal and provincial governments have always attested that Quebec holds all dominion over gambling jurisdiction within the province.

Apparently, online casino gambling is another ball game or else Quebec knows the Mohawk tribe has just as much a right to regulate gambling activities as them, for the booming Kahnawake Gaming Commission has hitherto gone unchallenged for nearly ten years. We'll just have to wait and see whether Quebec is merely balking and trying to satisfy their anti-gambling constituents.



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