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Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke

No need to be adversaries, says Grand Chief in regard to Internet gaming


The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) announced today that it has serious concerns about certain recommendations that a Québec government-appointed body, the Working Group on Online Gambling, made in its report published on November 6, 2014. The Working Group was established by Québec shortly after the launch of Loto-Québec’s ‘Espacejeux’ online gaming site.

In the report, entitled “Online Gambling: When the Reality of the Virtual Catches Up with Us,” the Working Group recommends that Québec “take the necessary steps” to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to enable Québec and the other provinces to issue online gambling licenses to private operators (see attached English language summary of the report).

“When the Criminal Code was amended in 1985 to delegate authority over gaming from the federal government to the provinces, First Nations were not consulted and our inherent rights to participate in the gaming industry were ignored,” said Grand Chief Michael Ahríhron Delisle, Jr. “This was a clear breach of the Crown’s fiduciary duty to Aboriginal Peoples and it has never been addressed.”

The MCK strongly opposes the Working Group’s suggested amendment to the Criminal Code unless and until the inherent right of First Nations to fully participate in the gaming industry is specifically recognized by Canada and Québec.

Other portions of the report make a number of key findings that the MCK finds are of great interest (see attached backgrounder).

“Given the findings in the Working Group’s report, the MCK reiterates its willingness to establish a table with Québec to resolve outstanding jurisdictional differences and work together to create a safe, fair and equitable gaming environment for all,” Grand Chief Delisle added. “The time is right to create a new reality for virtual gaming in Québec. There is really no need to be adversaries.”

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