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Shawanaga First Nation unhappy with iGaming Ontario launch

You may have seen in recent weeks that iGaming applications are now being accepted by the province of Ontario. Residents in Ontario can expect legal online sportsbooks and casinos to become available at the start of 2022, with applications being looked over until the end of the year. These applications will have a final decision made on them before the year is out.

While this would seemingly be an exciting financial prospect for the province and an avenue for fun for Ontario residents, not everyone is happy with the endeavor. There is a complicated history with the indigenous peoples of Canada that stretches back more than 200 years. The Shawanaga First Nation is an old tribe from the Ontario region and they are far from pleased with the increased activity in the iGaming industry of Ontario. They have not been briefed or even given the courtesy of being told that these applications are being undertaken for legal online gambling in the province.


Plans to go ahead

In June, 2021, the Shawanaga First Nation wrote to the Attorney General of Ontario and the Minister of Finance asking for clarity on the iGaming application process and how the First Nation tribe would be involved in this gambling regime that was to come. The response from the Canadian Crown was limited at best, as no real information was given to the First Nation tribe. The Crown has seemingly little to no worry about the concerns of the First Nation tribe as the iGaming process continues to go ahead with applications still being accepted late into the year.

The recent acts from the Crown has shown no fulfillment of their fiduciary duty towards the ingenuous peoples of the Ontario region. As an indigenous entity, the First Nation tribe have a constitutional right to be a part of the ongoing iGaming industry that is taking off. Instead, they have been met with financial discrimination. There has been outspoken support of the First Nation tribe as more groups are putting pressure on the Crown to suspend its plans for an iGaming industry until this matter is properly addressed and the constitutional right of the Shawanaga people has been adhered to.

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