Online Gambling

Online Gambling in Canada

Today, almost every form of gambling is legal throughout Canada. Online gambling, however, is a bit complicated.

There are no specific laws that prohibit Canadians from gambling online, especially on sites hosted in other countries. Many sites accept Canadian players and even the Canadian Dollar.

The federal government does not give out licenses for companies to operate online gambling sites as gaming itself seems to be the jurisdiction of the provinces.

So far, none of the provinces has ventured into the online gambling world, except for the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Montreal, Quebec.

Kahnawake Mohawk Territory through the Kahnawake Gaming Commission licenses and regulates a large number of online casinos, online poker rooms and online sportsbook sites, as well as three land-based poker rooms that are situated within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake.

The Commission was first established in 1996 pursuant to the Kahnawake Gaming Law enacted by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. The Commission's Regulations concerning Interactive Gaming were first enacted in July, 1999.

The permits issued by the Commission to online gaming operators are called Client Provider Authorizations. The Commission charges an initial application fee for a Client Provider Authorization of US$25,000, plus an application fee of US$5,000 for each Key Person Licence. Application fees include the cost of the first annual fee for both Client Provider Authorizations and Key Person Licences and are refundable if an application is not granted.

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and the Commission have consistently asserted that the jurisdiction to enact the Kahnawake Gaming Law is an aspect of Kahnawake's Mohawk or "aboriginal rights" that have existed since time immemorial and that were most recently recognized and affirmed in subsection 35(1) of Canada's Constitution Act, 1982.

Since it was first established in 1996, the legality of the Kahnawake Gaming Law and the activities of the Commission have never been challenged under the laws of Canada or any other jurisdiction.

About the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory

The Kahnawake Mohawk Territory is an Indian reserve on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, across from Montreal. Recorded by French Canadians in 1719 as a Jesuit mission, it has also been known as Seigneury Sault du St. Louis, Caughnawaga and 17 European spelling variations of the Mohawk Kahnawake.

Kahnawake's territory totals an area of 48.05 square kilometers. Its resident population numbers about 8,000, with a significant number off the territory. Its land base today is unevenly distributed due to federal Indian Act law that oversees individual land possession, unlike the Canadian norms that apply to the land around it.