First Nations see opposition in effort to relocate casino to big city

A view of the gaming floor at the Aseneskak Casino on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba. Photo from Facebook

Native leaders in Manitoba are facing uphill opposition with their proposal to move a casino to the biggest city in the province.

Unless the Aseneskak Casino moves to Winnipeg, it will close in a matter of years, Native leaders say. But Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister won't agree to the relocation.

"Absolutely no," Pallister told members of the media on Thursday, CBC News reported.

Aseneskak is located on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, in a rural area several hours north of Winnipeg. Native leaders say business has fallen amid growing competition for gaming dollars in Manitoba.

"They [the province] are basically our regulators and our competition," Aseneskak CEO Suzanne Barbeau Bracegirdle told CBC.

According to the recent 2016 Manitoba Gaming Market Assessment, Manitoba is the only province in Canada that has added more video lottery terminals over the last 10 years. Pallister cited the report as justification for refusing to consider a move of Aseneskak.

The six First Nations that own Aseneskak have entered into an agreement with the Peguis First Nation in hopes of finding a new site for the facility in Winnipeg.

Read More on the Story:
Faltering casino in The Pas cannot move to Winnipeg, premier says (CBC 9/15)
Pallister nixes plan to move northern casino to Winnipeg (The Winnipeg Sun 9/15)
Province and First Nations casino owners compete for gambling dollars (CBC 9/14)
Casino relocation not in the cards, Pallister says (The Winnipeg Free Press 9/13)

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