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MCK: Ontario iGaming one year later

Press Release

(Kahnawake – 5, Onerahtókha/April 2023) The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) wishes to advise the community that following the Notice of Application filed in Ontario Superior Court, which was filed in November of 2022, a date has been set for the hearing.

The tentative date for this case to be heard is in February of 2024.

Despite several attempts by the MCK to engage in meaningful discussions with them, the proponents of Ontario’s iGaming Scheme
have undermined the gaming industry that Kahnawà:ke has built over the last 25 years, and the damage is beginning to unfold. “It’s been one year since the creation of iGaming Ontario, and we are now beginning to see that Mohawk Online (MOL) has felt the effects with substantially lower revenues,” said Ratsénhaienhs (elected Council Chief) Michael Delisle, Jr. “With a court date still ten (10) months away, and Minster David Lametti’s failure to produce any governmental initiatives to move our issues forward, we can’t help but
feel that Ontario and Canada are ignoring Kahnawà:ke, along with other First Nations in Ontario, such as Scugog, when it comes to
Canada’s Indigenous gaming industry.”

The Ontario iGaming Scheme prevents all other gaming regulators, including the Kahnawà:ke Gaming Commission (KGC) as well as
operators licensed by the KGC, from carrying out gaming activities in Ontario – unless they are also registered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. While the MCK has met with Minister Lametti, and some discussions have taken place with representatives of the Federal Government, there has yet to be any indication that Ottawa will intervene or introduce legislation that would recognize Indigenous jurisdiction in the gaming industry.


In April 2022, iGaming Ontario (a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) launched its iGaming regime, which
includes single-event sports wagering and relies exclusively on private operators to conduct and manage the gaming on behalf of the
Province. The MCK remains concerned about the unconstitutional and illegal nature of Ontario’s application of its “iGaming Scheme,” which blatantly disregards the expertise of First Nations in the safe and responsible regulation of gaming.

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke has been a vocal opponent of Bill C-218, the Bill that became the legislation that changed the
iGaming/sports betting landscape to the detriment of Indigenous People. While a significant number of Senators opposed the Bill (along with several abstentions), it nonetheless passed into law in June 2021.

On November 28, 2022, the MCK mandated Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP to file a Notice of Application with the Ontario Superior Court against iGaming Ontario and the Attorney General of Ontario challenging the legality and constitutionality of Ontario’s unilateral re- interpretation of the “conduct and manage” provisions of the Criminal Code on which Ontario has based its new iGaming scheme.


Media Inquiries:
David Lahache
Political Public
Information Officer
450- 632-7500 ext 50289
[email protected]


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