Canada's Tribal Online Casino Is Legally Sound

Published Monday, December 10, 2012 -

Based in the Tsuu T’ina Nation in southern Alberta, Canada, the GEObet Tribal Gambling Network launched the first online gambling casino for real cash on November 6th of 2012. This was reportedly the first of its kind in North America and according to the owners it won’t be the last.

The Wapi-Maskwa iGaming Act governs the activities of the gambling site which complies with various regulatory bodies such as those issued by Curacao, Malta, and Kahnawake which operates from Mohawk Territory in Quebec. The legality of the casino cannot be questioned says Gerry Gionet, Chief Executive Officer and founder of GEObet adding they have followed every guideline to establish the casino legally. Saskatchewan’s star phoenix online news quoted the Minister in charge of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, Donna Harpauer as saying, “Right now, I’m going to see what the formal announcement is [from Northern Bear Casino]. We’ll take a look at that and see what our options are.”

Using the Wapi-Maskwa iGaming Act as their guide the casino has been able to throw a road block in the way of the federal government’s attempts to squash the online casino. CEO Bernie Shepherd of the NorthernBear Casino was quoted in as saying “After almost 20 years of successful First Nations owned and operated casinos in Saskatchewan, I decided to become an owner/operator because I believe First Nations need to ‘Occupy the Field’ of online gambling.” Shephard continued, “I’ll be operating under the same Inherent, Treaty, Constitutional and Sovereign rights as when I opened the first Indian casino in Canada on February 26, 1993. Our forefathers traded globally 100-plus years ago and entrepreneurship has been in our DNA for 10,000-plus years; this is what November 6, 2012 is going to stand for.”

Standing up for the rights of First Nations people Gionet said, “We were traders in the past. We have historical data that say we were in gaming, that we did gaming. Lacrosse is a gaming sport.”

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