The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) are suing the provincial government for not allowing them to move a casino to Winnipeg. This decision comes after the Manitoba premier, Brian Pallister, disagreed with the move of the Aseneskak Casino. Pallister is a newly appointed premier, who has different opinions in bettering the lives of the people in the province. The lawsuit is specifically for the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries (MLL).
According to Chief Clarence Easter of Chemawawin Cree Nation, the casino needs a larger casino market to continue to operate. He also said that they need the approval of the provincial government to relocate the casino.
Sands Hills Casino Resort Limited Partnership
Sands Hills Casino has joined the AMC in the lawsuit saying that they seek around C$870 million in damages from the MLL. However, that’s not the only thing that the lawsuit covers. They want the MLL to approve their relocation, ban new non-tribal casinos for setting up in Winnipeg and to instruct Shark Club to put their revenues into the First Nations trust.
Derek Nepinak, former AMC Grand Chief, has questioned the provincial government for favouring establishments such as Shark Club and True North Sports Entertainment. He said that the AMC had an understanding that tribes would have first preference in setting up gaming venues.
According to the new AMC Grand Chief, Arlen Dumas, gaming plays a vital role in the economic development for First Nations. He said that the provincial government would have to work with them to find a solution.
Manitoba Premier’s Take on Things
The 2016 Manitoba Gaming Market Study that reports that the province has an oversupply of gaming venues. According to Brian Pallister, there needs to be more growth and working together to create jobs. More so, he believes that the gambling industry won’t help to achieve this. Hence, he is against the relocation of the casinos.