Landmark legislation makes quarter-century of blazing trails on Internet gaming

·2 min read

The 1996 law that paved the way for Kahnawake to become a leader in the world of Internet gaming and helped generate a brand-new revenue stream for the community marked a quarter-century of existence quietly earlier this month.

When visionary Arnold Goodleaf conceived of the notion back in 1996, the Internet was in its infancy and Kahnawake jumped on board, and now is recognized as a leader in the international gaming industry.

However more challenges were presented this week when, the Canadian Senate moved to allow more single-game betting and individual prop bets in sports contests with Bill C-218.

“With that being said, these challenges have not prevented Kahnawake from continuing its role as a gaming leader. It will continue its pioneering role in providing the highest standard of fairness, player protection and responsible gaming not only in virtual world, but in land-based poker rooms – where world-class tournaments are held on an ongoing basis. As a result of this law, significant jobs and revenue have been created, which allows for greater self-sufficiency for the community,” the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake said in a statement earlier this month.

The bill passed yesterday in the Upper Chamber by a 57-20 vote with five abstentions. The law awaits royal assent to come into effect.

“Despite world-wide acceptance and recognition, challenges closer to home continue to this day. Neither Quebec nor Canada has formally accepted Kahnawake’s jurisdiction in the matter of gaming. While formal challenges have been few, the lack of ‘official’ recognition has been a thorn in the side of the community for many years. This has been exacerbated by the recent furor over Canada’s Bill-218, which would most probably shut Indigenous gaming out of the industry,” the MCK statement said, adding that once more, Canada is riding on the backs of Indigenous people in order to enrich themselves. ‘In effect, Canada’s legislation could be seen as ‘Kahnawake creates, and Canada appropriates.’ While great efforts were put forth to create a ‘carve out’ for Indigenous gaming in Bill C-218, it has become clear that the 25-year battle for respect and acceptance from our nearest neighbors is not forthcoming.”

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase

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