The U.K. Gambling Commission announced this week that the Kahnawake reserve as well as Antigua and Barbuda had been denied entry into the "white list" of jurisdictions from which online gambling companies would be allowed to advertise in the United Kingdom.
Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Grand Chief Michael Ahrihrhon Delisle Jr. expressed his disappointment in the reserve failing to be included on the list in a press release on Tuesday.
"Given Kahnawake's long-standing reputation as the world leader in Internet regulatory compliance and enforcement, it is disheartening to receive word that the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory's efforts will not be afforded the same consideration that has been extended to Tasmania, which has no such history," Delisle said.
Kahnawake, thought to be home to the third-largest number of online gambling companies, was the first jurisdiction to accept and implement the world-recognized eCOGRA standard, according to Delisle.
The reserve was also denied being added to the U.K. white list despite the implementation of a mandatory continuous compliance policy and its consistent enforcement of a stringent due diligence program.
"Kahnawake has concerns regarding the process undertaken by the U.K. authority and has initiated inquiries to ascertain whether the application was afforded fair and objective consideration - which, at this point, we do not believe was the case," Delisle stated.
Delisle also said the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory was disappointed in the United Kingdom's decision, which ignores the long-standing alliance between the two entities.
"We also find it deeply troubling that the actions of our old friends directly conflict with the commitments they made in the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to which the U.K. was a signatory in September 2007," Delisle said.
According to Delisle, the reserve is seeking advice on potential recourse against the United Kingdom under Article 20 of the Declaration, which states:
- Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities.
- Indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitled to just and fair redress.
"Despite this setback, the Mohawks of Kahnawake will remain committed to our established leadership role on the front lines of regulatory enforcement of the Internet gaming industry. We will continue to ensure an environment where fairness, integrity and player protection are paramount," Delisle said.