Canadian Reserve Welcomes I-Gaming Businesses

1 October 2003

The Six Nations Indian Reserve in Ontario wants to make a splash in the Internet gambling business.

The reserve this summer expanded its Internet hosting facility and assembled a commission to license I-gaming operators. The project is called SixNet (Six Nations Network), and the facility is located about an hour's drive from Toronto.

Steve Williams, the head of the Six Nations Gaming Commission, said the group already has one licensee operating out of the new co-location facility and he expects more to come on board as word spreads. The cost for hosting at the SixNet facility, he said, is a fraction of what many offshore jurisdictions charge.

SixNet houses a 2,750 sq. ft. server park with ample room for nearby expansion.

"We have a lot of land out here, and we put the facility in a spot where we really have limitless expansion for the future," Williams said.

The facility was designed and engineered with the help of Jean Crescenzi, who is the president and chief technical officer for Colosseum Online Inc., a Toronto-based Internet service provider.

Customers' equipment is located in a data center designed to maximize security and availability. The data center also features raised flooring, comprehensive physical security, climate control, fire control, uninterrupted power and 24-7 monitoring and support.

Six Nations is perhaps best known in the business sphere for its great success in cigarette sales. The reserve impressively captured 12 percent of the market in North America within a year of embarking upon tax-free sales.

The reserve also recently ventured into the bottled water business and won a contract to supply the more than 600,000 attendees at this summer's SARS benefit concert in Toronto.

The group additionally owns the world's largest graphite mine, which will soon account for 80 percent of the world's production of the raw material.

Williams said Six Nations has resources and political clout within the Canadian government. This, he said, is due in large part to a pending billion-dollar land dispute the reserve expects to win.

The Iroquois Confederacy formed Five Nations in 1570. The confederacy, or Iroquois League, was originally comprised of five tribes. Starting from east to west, they were the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and the Senecas.

In 1712, the Tuscarora Nation, migrated from North Carolina to the border regions between New York and Pennsylvania, and joined the Five Nations.

The group is today known as the Six Nations in English, or the Iroquois in French. A council of 50 chiefs, elected by female elders from each nation, governs the group.

Led by Joseph Brant, some of the Six Nations people fought for the British against the Americans during the War of Independence. After the defeat of the British, they immigrated to Upper Canada, where the British Crown gave them a large area of land to replace land taken by the Americans.

The original contract, recognized legally in 1784, covered an area of six miles on either side of the Grand River, from its source to its mouth, in what is now the province of Ontario near the present towns of Fergus, Brantford and Kitchener-Waterloo.

By 1828, two-thirds of this land had been lost to land sales, land leases and squatters' rights. In 1842, the British Crown recognized the remaining land as the Six Nations Indian Reserve Number 40.

Six Nations is seeking compensation for the more than 60 percent of the original land that was lost.

Six Nations Gaming Licensing - Highlights

  • License Fee (Interactive Gaming License): US$3,000 per month for a single site, plus $1,000 per month for each additional URL

  • License Fee (Gaming Provider License*): $5,000 per month, plus $1,000 per month for each additional URL

  • Application Fee: $5,000 and $2,500 for each principal.

  • All license holders are required to post a security with the commission for the purpose of guaranteeing the payment of winnings over and above $8,000

  • Licensees are required to contribute to a gambling addiction fund.

*Gaming provider licenses are given to companies selected by the commission to produce gaming software.

Click here to view a copy of the Six Nations online gaming regulations.

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