The Rise and Fall of Kahnawake and the Future of Online Gambling in Canada

The Rise and Fall of Kahnawake and the Future of Online Gambling in Canada

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) is a licensing and regulatory body that provides permits to gaming operators both on land and online. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake established the KGC in 1996 for the enforcement of Kahnawake Gaming Law. The regulations for licensing gambling activities took effect in 1999.

The KGC’s initial purpose was to give permits to poker rooms and casinos that operated in or accepted players in the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory. The territory is a First Nations reserve in Quebec, Canada.

First Nation Gaming and Gambling

kahnawake gaming commisionKahnawake operates similar to most other independent nations. The Iroquois Confederation even issues Kahnawake natives their own passports. The nation is so tight-knit that members are encouraged to leave the tribal lands if they marry someone outside of the territory. This intentional level of autonomy has been the guiding force in the way the First Nation determines its policies.

The Kahnawake permits a number of land casinos to operate on its grounds. This includes several poker rooms, as well as lotteries and similar gambling establishments. When the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was enacted, it created a significant pull on the gambling industry. This caused a number of gaming providers to get their gaming license from the KGC as quickly as possible. Currently, the KGC licenses 50 individual game providers and operators. The 50 operators are equal to around 250 separate casino brands and sites.

The Organization’s Hard Stance

The KGC has a tendency to create hard stances in terms of gaming. This is likely the reason why the organization is now considered obsolete. One specific action that brought significantly negative attention to the KGC was the Ultimate Bet cheating scandal that took place in 2009. Tokwiro Enterprises was the gambling operator affected by the scandal.

After Tokwiro Enterprises was investigated for a long stint, the Kahnawake Gambling Commission enforced a number of sanctions on the website for Ultimate Bet casino website. The commission fined Tokwiro Enterprises $1,500,000. The company was also ordered to give $22,000,000 to Ultimate Bet website players. New regulations were also put in place to ensure players would no longer be cheated when playing games distributed by Tokwiro Enterprises.

Another take on KGC’s Gaming Laws

Gaming lawsHaley Hintze recently wrote an article about the KGC, and stated that some of the stories about the commission aren’t exactly sensical. She refers to an article on The Montreal Times that left her puzzled.

Hintze stated that she’s very familiar with both Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker, and knows about the cheating scandals associated with these companies. She also asserts that she is aware of how these companies are connected to Kahnawake gaming operations. Hintze has a vested interest in learning more about these companies, as well as Mohawk Internet Technologies (MIT), which is the hosting facility for the games. Hintze admits these organizations have seen better days in terms of business.

Hintze says that according to the op-ed in The Montreal Times, “The KGC was wrong to come down on AP and UB and order the return of $22 million to players affected by the UB cheating, simply because the Kahnawake nation operated autonomously and legally didn’t have to.” She continues to explain that the op-ed didn’t get their facts straight. Hintze says the companies and The Montreal Times showed a “lack of business morality that it just has to be called out.” She further asserts the article was meant to sensationalize what has occurred in the regional gambling industry, since she searched for a byline for the op-ed article, but couldn’t find one.

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