Friday November 25,2011 : KAHNAWAKE LAND CASINO AMBITIONS?
Online gambling's most prolific licensing jurisdiction considers a Quebec land casino
The Montreal Gazette reports this week that the Mohawks of Kahnawake – already a significant online gambling regulatory jurisdiction – plan to take another run at operating a land casino in their home province of Quebec.
"In addition to the prospect of a new lottery offering for Quebec, a bricks-and-mortar casino has been proposed for the South Shore community by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake," the newspaper reported, claiming that the tribal council recently hired a U.S. firm to conduct formal feasibility and impact studies and is anticipating the public release of the first of those studies next week.
Although a land-based casino has been twice voted down in referendums, the current proposal distinguishes itself as it opens with the proviso that every community member would share in casino profits through dividends.
Grand Council Chief Michael Delisle Jr. has told the community that a casino would help offset cuts in federal and provincial funding. "We are looking at generating the type of funds that would make us independent somewhere in the near future,” Delisle said, suggesting that a land casino could “generate $20 to $30 million, hopefully.”
Council staff have apparently worked on preliminary outlines for the project, including a review on gambling options – native and non-native – in the region, as well as neighbouring states and provinces.
In 2003, Kahnawake residents turned down a casino proposal 57 to 43 percent in a vote that drew a record turnout. In 1994, a proposal for a $154-million, American-style casino lost by less than 100 votes, 724 in favour and 627 opposed.