Kahnawake is a Mohawk Indian territory which is located inside Quebec on the shores of the St Lawrence River in Canada. A Native American reservation with a population of around 8000 inhabitants (and some others who reside off the reservation), Kahnawake is one of several territories that form what is known as the Mohawk Nation. The territory is steeped in old Native American tradition and the name ‘Kahnawake’ comes from the Mohawk language, its literal meaning being ‘place of the rapids’.
When online casinos started to become more popular at the end of the 1990’s, Kahnawake was one of the first gambling jurisdictions to realise the incoming trend and began to provide licenses for online gambling as well as the land based gambling establishments they already covered inside the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake. Currently they provide licenses for around 50 online gaming operators, covering some 250+ online gambling sites that include online casinos, online poker rooms and sports betting websites.
Kahnawake Gaming Commission - Establishment and regulatory functions
On the 10th of June 1996, Kahnawake established the ‘Kahnawake Gaming Commission’ after the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake passed a set of regulations known as the ‘Kahnawake Gaming Law’. Its function is to fully regulate all aspects of online gambling in exactly the same way as other existing gambling jurisdictions. They are a regulatory body who by law are able to grant online gambling licenses. They also provide licenses for more traditional bricks and mortar gambling establishments like land based casinos.
Obtaining a Kahnawake Gaming Commission license or permit for online operators
In 1999 the Kahnawake Gaming Commission began issuing licenses and permits that regulate online gambling operators. These permits are known as ‘Client Provider Authorizations’ and are subject to an application fee of US$25,000 plus US$5,000 for what is known as a ‘Key Person License’. These application fees also include the first year’s general licensing fees and are refunded in full if the application proves to be unsuccessful.
The different licenses issued by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission issues four distinct types of licenses under the Kahnawake jurisdiction. These are as follows; the ‘Interactive Gaming License’ (IGL) which is issued to a Kahnawake data center or Kahnawake hosting facilities that reside inside the territory, The ‘Client Provider Authorization (CPA)’ which is used to approve operators that wish to to provide interactive gaming from hosting inside Kahnawake territory, the ‘Inter-Jurisdictional Authorization’ (IJA) which is issued to operators who already hold a gaming license from an established jurisdiction elsewhere, and lastly the ‘Key Persons License’ (KPL) that is issued to an individual who is part of the management team for an operator who already holds an existing Client Provider Authorization (CPA).
The Kahnawake Inter-Jurisdictional Authorization and its Inter-Jurisdictional Agreements
As a way of making it easier for players to access online gambling establishments world wide, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission also works in tandem with other gambling jurisdictions globally. One of the 4 licenses issued by Kahnawake is the ‘Inter-Jurisdictional Authorization’. This license is issued to those who already hold a valid license in another regulated gambling jurisdiction. Currently, Kahnawake also has special co-operative agreements in place with the jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda plus also the Maltese Gaming Authority (MGA).