The casinos Canadians were legalized and developed to raise much – needed revenues for the provinces and / or charitable organizations.
For the most part, they have achieved that purpose. They are not, however, without their share of problems.
Some of the provinces have already risen against a particularly knotty dilemma; the application the game on Canadian Indian reservations. The First Nations, a tribe of Canadian Indians based in the southeastern region of Saskatchewan, opened a casino that ran only on weekends.
The province did not publish a license to the tribe. While Indian entrepreneurs and the government were trying to iron out their problems, the casino was allowed to operate.
Since then, the provincial government has devised a system that would allow Canadian Indians to enter gaming operations only in cooperation with non-profit organizations that hold licenses and the Saskatchewan government.
All proceeds from the casinos would be shared among the partners.
Indian developers of the Saskatchewan casino did not see this as a solution.
They believed that the government had no regulatory power over the reservation, especially since there was no specific legislation in place to cover this situation.
Apart from no jurisdictional conflicts, the first tribe of nations was not satisfied with the proposed division of benefits. Since then, however, two groups have come to terms.
Saskatchewan wants a piece of the action just like the Canadian Indians. An agreement was reached early in 1994 that would allow the first nations and Metis tribes to operate casinos in Regina and Saskatoon in conjunction with the government.
The first nations of Manitoba are allowed to operate government video lottery terminals that are connected to the central monitoring system that the government has established.
Several tribes that exercise this legal option retain all the benefits of the machines; in return, they pay a certain percentage to the government as a fee for the administration. Manitoba government officials have other concerns about Indian gaming operations within the province.
They are afraid that if the reservation casinos are not regulated as to number and quality, they will glut the market and bring total casino revenues down.
To date, no partnership has been discussed with the government regarding the development and operation of casinos among all the parties in question.
Several Canadian Indian reservations in British Columbia and Alberta have also indicated their willingness to operate casinos.
Not all Indian tribes, however, play nice casinos on their land. A Mohawk tribe in the province of Quebec voted against a measure of allowing a casino on the reservation.
The head of the tribe saw the casino as a viable means of bringing some economic stability to the reserve, but the tribe voted it down.
Many of the members of the tribe expressed concern that the size of the projected revenues might prove irresistible to organized crime and did not want to risk that association.
In addition, the research conducted by the tribal social worker found that the incidence of gambling addiction among Canadian Indians is six times greater than that of the Canadian population as a whole.