The Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established on June 10, 1996, pursuant to provisions of the Kahnawake Gaming Law and regulations were enacted on July 8, 1999, pursuant to Section 24.1 of the Kahnawake Gaming Law. They were last amended on December 7, 2011. The Commission is comprised of three members appointed for two-year terms by the Commission’s governing body, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. The current members as of 2012 are Dean Montour (Chairperson), Melanie Mayo, and Lori Jacobs.
The Commission licenses and regulates interactive gaming (casino, poker, sportsbook), land-based poker rooms, and raffles conducted within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. The regulations were designed to ensure that interactive gaming activities settle three basic principles: that only suitable persons and entities are permitted to operate, that games are fair to players, and that winners are paid. Mohawk Internet Technologies handles all hosting of interactive gaming services in the Mohawk Territory and all licensed operators must be hosted through them.
In 2005 and 2010, the Commission entered into Memoranda of Understanding with the Financial Services Regulatory Commission of Antigua and Barbuda. In 2006, the Commission entered into a similar Memorandum of Understanding with the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta, and in 2010 a Memorandum of Understanding was finalized between the Commission and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. The Commission continues to have frequent discussions with other regulatory bodies in many other jurisdictions.
There are three types of licenses the Commission will consider: an Interactive Gaming License, a Client Provider Authorization, and a Key Person License. Holders of an Interactive Gaming License may operate a co-location facility that provides Internet services to Authorized Client Providers. Authorized Client Providers are entitled to conduct online gaming from the co-location facility that is owned and operated by the Interactive Gaming License holder. A Key Person License is granted to people who are in a managerial position at the entity that holds the Client Provider Authorization.
The application fee for an Interactive Gaming License (IGL) is CAD $25,000 and is nonrefundable. This fee includes the estimated cost of conducting due diligence and the first annual licensing fee. The annual licensing fee is refundable if the application is not granted. The application fee does not include any costs incurred from evaluating information about the applicant’s potential co-location facility. Interactive gaming licenses are granted for two-year periods, and annual licensing fees are CAD $10,000. Mohawk Internet Technologies holds the sole IGL.
The application fee for a Client Provider Authorization License is CAD $25,000, nonrefundable. This fee includes the estimated cost of conducting due diligence and the first annual licensing fee. This annual licensing fee is refundable if the application is not granted. This fee does not include any costs incurred from the Commission’s assessment of the Control Systems Submission. The IGL holder is responsible for supervising the activities of an authorized client provider and is jointly liable with the authorized client provider for its actions. Annual Client Provider Authorization fees are $10,000.
Key Person Licenses are also required for each individual with a prominent role in the operation of a licensed entity. The holder of an Interactive Gaming License must designate at least two (2) key persons; one who performs key managerial functions such as holding the title positions of Chief Executive Holder; Chief Financial Officer, and Office Manager and one who performs key operational functions such as Chief Operations Officer or Chief Technology Officer for or on behalf of the License holder. The License application fee for Key Persons is CAD $5,000 for each proposed key person with an Annual Fee of $1,000. Key Person Licenses are granted for a term not exceeding two years and are renewable for an unlimited number of times. Renewal application fees are $2,500.
The Gaming Commission may grant a Client Provider Authorization as well as Secondary Client Provider Authorizations, for which either an applicant or an Authorized Client Provider may submit an application. If the applicant is not an Authorized Client Provider, the application fee is CAD $25,000. If an Authorized Client Provider submits the application, the fee is the actual cost of processing the application plus a 15% administration fee.
In December 2010, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and Financial Services Regulatory Commission for Antigua and Barbuda entered into a relationship where primary license holders in either jurisdiction may apply for an "inter-jurisdictions authorization" permitting them to host in either jurisdiction. The jurisdiction in which the operator holds its primary license is responsible for overseeing the operator’s activities in both jurisdictions.
In February 2010, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission confirmed the independent agency that will help improve their regulatory compliance. E-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) will ensure that Kahnawake’s licensees are screened for compliance with regulations and will also regularly monitor the Kahnawake Gaming Commission’s licensees.
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