Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Nations push for gambling control

First Nations are ready to take control of gambling on their land, the chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations says.

Saskatchewan First Nations run six casinos around the province, but they share profits with — and are regulated — by the provincial government.

But FSIN Chief Lawrence Joseph said earlier this week it's time for a change.

"We can actually take over," Joseph said. "And we're still trying to work with the government of Saskatchewan and Canada to essentially take over the whole area of gaming."

Joseph didn't provide any details, but it's expected he'll have more to say Wednesday when he speaks at the First Nations Gaming Expo at the Dakota Dunes Casino outside Saskatoon.

Gaming Minister Christine Tell was choosing her words carefully Tuesday, but said she has questions about what First Nations are asking for.

"I'm not entirely sure what exactly they're talking about when they're talking about jurisdiction," she said Tuesday. "I want to know what it is they want."

Joseph has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday morning.

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