Quebec-based First Nation disputes Ontario’s online gambling claims

Previously, the Quebec-based First Nation had initiated legal proceedings against the online gambling enterprise in Ontario. However, the First Nation has rebutted the province in court. In opposition to the introduction of online casinos and sports wagering in Ontario two years ago, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawa:ke voiced its dissent.

Online wagering was compared to traditional brick-and-mortar establishments in Ontario. A partnership between the government-operated Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and private players to operate tangible gambling spaces was mentioned by iGaming Ontario.

Nick Kennedy, an attorney for the MCK and associate at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, disagrees. He noted that operating a casino is not synonymous with overseeing a game that takes place within that establishment. The First Nation considers the control of iGaming by intermediary participants to be illegal.

iGO currently holds the view that the crux of the matter is the interpretation of conduct and management as stated in Section 207(1)(a) of the Criminal Code. If Ontario manages and operates the iGaming space, it will be considered above board; otherwise, it will not be. Ontario is adamant that iGO is in charge of operations management, but the First Nation disputes this claim.

As per Canadian gaming news, the tribe has petitioned the court for a declaration that online wagering in Ontario is conducted and managed by intermediary operators. Moreover, it requests that the court nullify the regulations concerning the structure; failure to do so would result in the operators acquiring complete authority and violating the regulations.

Furthermore, Kennedy and MCK made an effort to disprove Ontario’s assertion that the province bears the responsibility for operating and overseeing the gaming arena. The tribe perceives iGO as an intermediary regulatory entity, preexisting in nature. The attorney further observed that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that money laundering and wagering are significant issues, given that these were the primary aims of the newly implemented private-sector regime.

MCK maintains that the new code is detrimental to society’s finances. The Kahnawà:ke Gaming Commission has been responsible for the certification of both physical and online wagering since 1996. Mohawk Online Ltd., an organization wholly owned by the First Nation, additionally manages the sports wagering operator Sports Interaction beyond the borders of Ontario.

Since the new market launched, Ontario has been besieged with gaming ads, according to MCK’s legal documents. However, the province is currently working to restrict them, having previously declared that celebrities will not be permitted to appear in such advertisements.

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