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Kahnawake No Longer Accepting U.S. Bets, Views New Agreement as a Reflection of Worldwide Recognition

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Following a new agreement with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) told its lincesees to stop all online betting services with U.S. customers effective September 30.

KGC was one of the early leaders in online gaming, establishing its Mohawk territory — located just south of Montreal — as a licensing jurisdiction and regulating authority for online gaming activity back in 1999. Online gaming operators that are licensed by KGC must be hosted at Mohawk Internet Technologies, its data center within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, the Nation's 50-square-kilometer reserve, home to about 9,000 residents. Mohawk Internet Technologies is also managed by Continent 8 Technologies, which is based on the Isle of Man.

An October 2015 exposé by The New York TImes revealed Continent 8's alleged ties to illegal online gambling in the U.S. Because Internet gambling is regulated in New Jersey, as well as Nevada and Delaware, offshore sites not approved by the states' respective regulating bodies that accept U.S. customers are considered illegal.

Following a lengthy series of negotations between the DGE and KGC, KGC agreed to no longer accept bets from U.S. customers. Kahnawake had no previous restrictions on the jurisdictions its licensee were permitted to serve, casino.org reported.

While the news would seem disappointing to KGC, the company is actually viewing the news positively.

"It brings us to the forefront," Norton said in an interview with the Financial Post. "It creates that kind of recognition and understanding, and in the online gaming world that’s huge."

"We understand the DGE’s concerns about online gaming sites operating in New Jersey and elsewhere in the US without being properly authorized by a regulatory body in those jurisdictions," KGC Chairman Mark Jocks said in a press release.

"The Division is pleased to have the [Kahnawake Gaming Commission’s] assistance as a fellow regulator and looks forward to working together in the future," said DGE director David Rebuck.