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First Nations Casinos – Gaming Post

by ahnationtalk on November 3, 2015459 Views

November 2, 2015

Many Canadian casinos are owned and operated by large gaming corporations. These corporations specialize in establishing and running casinos. Most of these corporations are not Canadian-owned and a significant portion of the revenues from the casinos are taken out of Canada as the corporation collects its share of the profits.

In multiple provinces, the provincial governments have entered into agreements with First Nations which give them the rights to develop casinos on First Nation lands. “First Nations” refer to various aboriginal peoples in Canada (not including Inuit or Métis peoples) – descendants of the original, native inhabitants of the land. These nations have agreements with the Canadian and provincial governments that allow them a great deal of autonomy in their powers to govern members of their nations and decide what they can do on their land. Currently there are 634 recognized First Nations governments or bands in Canada. Approximately half of these nations are located in Ontario and British Columbia.


In an effort to develop economically, Canadian First Nations started to campaign for the right to operate casinos on their tribal lands. They claimed that they had aboriginal rights, under Canada’s Constitution Act, to offer gambling since gaming had been a part of their culture prior to Europeans arrival in Canada. They pointed out that traditionally, tribes once engaged in different types of gaming – archery, shell games, and that casinos and “for-profit” gambling activities were a continuation of those pursuits. In 1996 the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that commercial gaming was not an integral part of First Nation culture but the Canadian government entered into agreements with First Nation communities that allows them to operate their own gambling sites. As per the Supreme Court’s ruling however, provincial approval and oversight is required for any gambling-related ventures in Canada.

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