The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is a gambling regulatory body which issues online gambling licenses for online casinos, online sports betting sites and online poker rooms. Many of the casino sites we have reviewed and recommend on BettingPlanet are based in and regulated by Kahanawake, so this article will explain how the authoritative body protects real money players.
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Kahnawake Gaming Commission overview
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission first opened in 1996 in accordance with the provisions of the Kahnawake Gaming Law passed that same year, but it was not until July 1999 that it enacted its Regulations concerning Interactive Gaming, which allowed it to issue licenses for and regulate interactive gaming sites set up within its territory. This officially made it an advanced gaming jurisdiction, and one of the first jurisdictions in the world to address the growing prominence of online gambling services with the formation of a specialised organisation.
The Commission is, as stated on their official website, “empowered to license and regulate gaming and gaming related activities conducted within and from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in accordance with the highest principles of honesty and integrity” under the authority granted from Regulations concerning Interactive Gaming bill. The RCIG has been amended multiple times over the years, and currently states the following principles and objectives:
- To provide a lawful basis for the regulation and control of interactive gaming based in or offered from within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake
- To ensure that interactive gaming is conducted responsibly, fairly and honestly
- To prevent interactive gaming from being associated in any way with crime or criminality
- To ensure that the operators of interactive games treat players fairly; that they pay winners promptly and that all information related to player accounts is held in the strictest confidence
- To protect persons under the age of eighteen (18) years and other vulnerable persons
The Commission’s primary goal is to protect all players who gamble at the online casinos and betting sites it licenses and regulates, whether they live within Kahnawake or in other countries. It does so by ensuring all of its approved agents (which can be easily viewed and verified on the official website) adhere to responsible and honest gaming practices, that they treat all players fairly and pay them out accordingly, and that all personal and financial information related to player accounts are kept private.
One thing about the Kahnawake Gaming Commission that confuses people is how its location correlates with Canadian online gambling laws, which has not allowed Internet-based casinos and betting sites to operate within the country since 2001. The Kahnawake Mohawk Territory is indeed in Canada, but similar to other Mohawk territories in the country, it follows its own laws and drafts its own legislation; this means it has sole authority over its jurisdiction, and thus the Kahnawake Gaming Commission follows its own state laws, and not those of Canada. Online casinos, then, can bet set up and operate within the territory without adhering to Canada’s laws.
What does the Kahnawake Gaming Commission license and regulate?
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission licenses and regulates all forms of interactive gaming services that are hosted at Mohawk Internet Technologies, a data center located within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. It is managed by a company called Continent 8 Technologies, and all gambling sites which wish to be licensed by Kahnawake must have its servers physically based there. It also has authority over all land-based gambling activities which take place within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake.
The types of gambling-related websites and land-based gambling activities the Commission handles includes:
- Online casinos
- Online betting sites (sport and racing)
- Online poker rooms
- Terrestrial poker rooms
- Terrestrial raffles
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission actually hands out four different types of licenses to all businesses licensed and regulated within its jurisdiction.
1. The first type of permit is the Interactive Gaming Licence, which is given to a “approved hosting facility” within Kahnawake. There is only one IGL granted at any one time, and the current permit holder is Mohawk Internet Technologies.
2. The second type of permit is the Client Provider Authorization, which is the online casinos and betting sites that wish to be licensed by Kahnawake and have to provide their interactive gambling services within the hosting facility in the territory – essentially, they must have the servers running their online-based casinos and sportsbooks in Mohawk Internet Technologies host facility to be called an Authorized Client Provider.
3. The third type of permit is the Inter-Jurisdictional Authorization, which is issues to an online casino or betting site which is also licensed in another advanced gaming jurisdiction but may want to locate some of its business within Kahnawake territory to reach certain markets. This is only given when the entity in question is primarily regulated by the other jurisdiction body, as the Kahnawake Gaming Commission doesn’t “duplicate the primary jurisdiction’s continuous compliance requirements.”
4. The fourth type of permit is the Key Person Licence, which is given to people who manage the operations for the business that holds a Client Provider Authorisation permit, and is confidential.
Are sites licensed by Kahnawake safe to play at?
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is specifically designed to protect all players who access gambling sites licensed and regulated within their territory, regardless of whether the player accessing them lives within Kahnawake or other countries from around the world. It is a globally recognised authoritative gaming body, so all players are safe to play at their certified sites and can send the Commission queries and complaints should any of their licensed operations step out of line.
The Commission does not just hand out licenses, either. After their strict and rigorous background checks, audits and testing, all online casinos and betting site operators must also prove they are financially stable before they pay the final application fees of $40,000 and more to secure their permit.
All of the online casino and sportsbook sites listed in the table at the top of this page are currently licensed and regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. The table is geo-targeted, meaning it automatically updates and only displays options which are legally available to your country of origin – check out exclusive player sign up bonuses or read our more in-depth casino and sportsbook reviews to get more information on each option and whether it is right for you.