Alberta First Nations say provincially-regulated gambling website unauthorized

CALGARY — Two First Nations are taking the Alberta government and its gaming commission to court over its entry into the online gaming sector.

Play Alberta, a provincially-regulated gaming site launched last fall, offers virtual slots and table games while casinos remain shut down due to COVID-19.

The province has said it expects the site to raise $3.74 million in 2021.

The Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations in southern Alberta have filed an application for a judicial review, arguing Alberta’s online site is unauthorized and impermissible.

They say the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission isn’t authorized to receive a permit for an online casino.

Tsuut’ina Chief Roy Whitney says while the reserve’s casino is shuttered, the government is taking away its charity dollars.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2021.

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