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First Nations Clamour for Slice of B.C. Gaming Pie
We all know how big the casino industry is in Canada, and especially in British Columbia, where the revenue is staggering. Indeed, Ontario alone generates $1 billion in revenue every year, and this is growing with each passing year. So, it is natural for others to want a larger slice of the pie as much as possible. Provincial gambling plays such a big part in Canadian culture, but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
Section 207 of the controversial code in question has kept many Indigenous peoples on the margins of the casino industry for some time. For instance, there are just 16 First Nations casinos in operation across the whole of Canada. And it seems that an agreement has finally been reached between the B.C. government and the Assembly of First Nations, to change this. B.C. Premier John Horgan spoke of the significance of the agreement, saying “UN declaration legislation and gaming revenue sharing are important steps forward to advance true and lasting reconciliation, and create certainty and opportunity for First Nations and the province as a whole.”
There are plans to build an Indigenous casino in Victoria, something which has brought positive and negative opinions from across the country. In fact, it seems as though Victoria (and its residents) have reached an impasse on making a decision for the time being, and this is likely one of the points that is being discussed during these meetings. Though it is clear that there are a lot of positives to take from this, not everyone is happy about it. In fact, one Indigenous gaming expert was prompted to label the whole agreement as being “exploitative.”