Welcome to CGA’s Newest Members!
Save The Date: CGA Member Town Hall
Calling all Canadian Gaming Association Members! Our Member Town Hall will take place on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 11:30 am ET. Save the date in your calendar and stay tuned for registration information in the coming weeks.
In late June Senator Scott Tannas introduced Bill S-268, a private members bill to amend the Criminal Code (Canada) and amendments to the Indian Act with respect to “First Nations gaming”. The Bill, if enacted and proclaimed, is intended to amend:
- Section 207 of the Criminal Code to provide the governing body of a First Nation with the exclusive authority:
- to conduct and manage a lottery scheme on its reserve, and
- to license the conduct and management of a lottery scheme by other persons and entities on its reserve, if the governing body of the First Nation has provided notice to the Government of Canada and the government of any province in which its reserve is located of its intention to exercise that authority; and
- subsection 81(1) of the Indian Act to grant the council of the band authority to make by-laws for the purposes of regulating the operation, conduct and management of lottery schemes permitted on the band’s reserve under section 207 of the Criminal Code.
The amendments to the Criminal Code add to section 207 parallel provisions to those that are applicable to the provinces. It also adds to paragraph 207(1)(e) the proposed First Nations “lottery schemes” for interprovincial agreements. Other consequential amendments are made to parallel the “provincial authority” with respect to the licensing of electronic raffles and to provide definitions, e.g., “governing body” of a First Nation. This governing body may be elected under the Indian Act or otherwise formed. For some First Nations, including but not limited to Six Nations, this wording may create confusion as to who will make certain decisions.
The amendment to subsection 81(1) of the Indian Act addresses the existing case law. That case law found that a band council did not have authority to “regulate” gaming on reserve under section 81. The proposed amendment provides that statutory authority. The band council is mentioned in this amendment because it has the statutory authority under the Indian Act to make by-laws.
Also in June Senator Marty Deacon introduced a private member’s bill S-269 an Act respecting a national framework on advertising for sports betting. This Bill provides for the development of a national framework to regulate advertising for sports betting in Canada and to set national standards for prevention of risk for persons negatively impacted. It also provides for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to review its regulations and policies to assess their adequacy and effectiveness in reducing the incidence of harms resulting from the proliferation of advertising of sports betting. Deacon said sports betting ads, which often include celebrities or athletes, have become “very attractive, and addictive and sensational,” which draws in young and vulnerable people and that’s the reason she has proposed legislation to create a national framework to regulate sports betting advertising. Deacon also said she supported a move to allow single sports betting in Canada in 2021 to better regulate the industry.
The Senate is in recess until the last week of September so we expect no further action until October. The CGA will be watching and will provide updates as we learn more about the status of both of the Senate Bills.
Both the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario (iGO) have new Chairs.
Dave Forestell, former Chair of iGO, has returned as Chair of the AGCO upon the retirement of Lalit Aggarwal. Forestell was first appointed to the AGCO Board in 2018 and he also serves as Vice President, External Relations (Canada) for TC Energy. Learn more.
Heidi Reinhart has been announced as the new Chair of iGO. A partner at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Ms Reinhart has been a member of the board of directors for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission board of directors since 2020. Learn more.
We anticipate learning soon who the AGCO’s Board will appoint to succeed CEO Tom Mungham, who announced his intention to retire this fall earlier in the year.