Canada Warns Alberta Cree Band To Halt Online Gambling Plans

09 March 2007

Canada.com
Tuesday, March 06, 2007

EDMONTON (CP) – Alberta’s top cop is warning a Cree band to halt plans to set up an Internet gambling haven on their reserve near Edmonton.

Solicitor General Fred Lindsay also says he’s become aware that the Mohawks, who run illegal gambling operations in Quebec, have been advising the Alexander First Nation.

Lindsay says he has no intention of allowing the Alberta band to copy the Mohawks, who operate a web hosting company to facilitate more than 400 Internet gambling sites around the world.

“We understand that the Mohawks may be giving Alexander some advice on how to set it up,” he said Tuesday. “I’m not intending on letting it get away on us.”

The Alexander band has set up a web hosting company identical to one operated by the Mohawks. The Alberta band has also established its own gaming commission to offer online gaming licences, with application fees starting at US$20,000.

“We’re indicating to them to cease and desist if it is their intent to conduct an illegal operation in the province of Alberta,” Linsday told reporters.

Officials with the Alexander band did not return phone calls, but have said in past that they view themselves as a sovereign nation with the power to offer gaming licences.

Lindsay says he’s not aware that the band has actually set up any Internet gambling sites, so at this point the province’s gaming commission is continuing its investigation.

“Anybody who goes against the Criminal Code of Canada would end up being a lawbreaker,” he said. “Right now, in regard to Alexander, they’ve indicated intent to do that, so we’re investigating it.”
© The Canadian Press 2007