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Ontario 132 First Nations Continue Bagging Gaming Revenue

The Superior Court of Justice once again expressed its support of Ontario’s First Nations and the casino cash they benefit from on a regular basis. An arbitration decision from 2019 was recently upheld, making it clear that Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation should continue supporting tribal nations with both gaming and non-gaming revenue powered by brick-and-mortar casino venues.

First Nations seek ways in which they could support their community and secure job positions for locals. Often times they oversee several land-based casino venues welcoming individuals on a daily basis and offering them a breath of fresh air when it comes to gambling. They benefit from the gaming revenue generated according to the agreement inked with the Crown corporation. It became clear this arrangement would have to be respected.

Superior Court of Justice Ruling

The Superior Court of Justice ruled that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation should continue honoring the revenue-sharing agreement signed back in 2008. It relates to the First Nations sprinkled across Ontario and their gaming relations with the Crown corporation overseeing gambling and lottery offerings. Ontario First Nations Limited Partnership is about to continue receiving revenue allocations despite some changes in the field.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation would have to continue supporting the First Nations with both gaming and non-gaming revenue amassed by casino venues across the province. Some 1.7 percent of the annual gross gaming revenue goes straight to the tribal nations of the limited partnership. This includes revenue generated by organized lottery, slot machines, as well as table games, along with the hotel revenue and food offerings.

It could be recalled that back in 2013 Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation made the decision that the modernization of Ontario’s gaming field would result in a halt of the tribal nations’ allocations. Ontario First Nations Limited Partnership claims the matter was never discussed with the First Nations. The estimated loss for the tribes reached CA$100 million in gaming and non-gaming revenue.

OLG Modernization Process

The First Nations received some CA$201 million soon after the revenue agreement was inked back in 2008. OLG made projections that the 1.7-percent annual allocations would amount to CA$3 billion by 2033. The First Nations expect that 2031 would see an extension of the agreement. Back in 2017, the tribes filed for arbitration seeking justice. In it, the Crown corporation made it clear that the private casino operator would bag non-gaming revenue in its entirety.

The First Nations argued that the 2008 agreement covered all three streams of revenue and that meant that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation should continue supporting them. That being said, the private casino operator that eventually took control over some of the casino venues kept the non-gaming revenue to itself. The latest ruling sides with the First Nations in this situation.

Some 132 First Nation Partners benefit from the 1.7-percent annual allocations of the overall gross revenue. According to the agreement of 2008, the First Nations have the contractual right to a representative on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Board. No such individual was appointed to keep an eye on the modernization strategy of 2012 and the aforementioned conversations.