The Kahnawake Mohawk Territory is a self-governing Indian reserve in Quebec, Canada. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake has been licensing internet gambling in Canada for more than a decade, and is recognized as one of the forerunning online gambling licensors in the world.
Despite its success, Kahnawake has long been at odds with Quebec, which fails to recognize the territory’s legal right to license internet gambling. According to Canadian gambling laws, each province is allowed to create its own gambling regulations. Quebec as a whole does not offer legal online gambling, and Loto-Quebec, which holds a monopoly over all gambling in the territory, has not been eager to cooperate with Kahnawake.
The battle may soon come to a climax as both sides are eager to see the issue resolved. “I think an intergovernmental agreement on gaming would help us in the broader landscape of gaming,” says Chief John Dee Delormier.
Kahnawake holds agreements with many other internet gambling licensing jurisdictions around the world, including Malta and Curacao, but some have yet to recognize the territory’s legal right to license online gambling. The UK, for instance, has not added Kahnawake to their famous “white list”, a status that the Council of Kahnawake has been seeking for years.
In an effort to reach an agreement, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake recently called for preliminary meetings with Quebec representatives to talk specifically about the issue of licensing online gambling sites in Canada. It seems that Quebec is still remaining passive about the issue, but the Council has a few cards left to play, such as Highway 30 which runs on an easement across tribal land.
“I have the hope that something will be hammered out,” says Delormier.