With online gaming taking the gambling world by storm, land based casinos are struggling to keep up with the growing fad. In particular for First Nations owned casinos who contribute much of the profits from the casinos to their communities; the competition with the online world continues to be a difficult battle. As a result many tribes in Saskatchewan have partnered with the GEObet Gambling Network in the Tsuu T’ina Nation in Alberta, to create online versions of their home based casinos.
GEObet announced on September 27 that it will be launching a new online gambling brand for First Nations casinos and will receive an investment from at least one First Nation. Gerry Gionet CEO of GEObet says this announcement is to help First Nations get a chunk of the online gaming business so as to not lose valuable customers. He warns that with so many communities in First Nations relying on revenue generated from their land based casinos, they can’t afford to lose that revenue to the growing online community.
“So we’ve developed a turnkey iGaming solution that will enable Saskatchewan First Nations to get up and running online as quickly and smoothly as possible.”
According to numbers from the Tsuu T’ina Nation, over 4 million people visit First Nations casinos in Saskatchewan every year. With that foundation of customers in mind, GEObet believes that with the right launch of an online brand for First Nations many of those customers will follow their casino of choice online.
First Nations across the country are jumping on the online market with the Kahnawake Mohawk developing their own online operation. Bernie Shepherd former chief of White Bear First Nation who was a major player in 1993 developing Canada’s first aboriginal-owned casino, also spoke as part of the conference in Saskatoon to throw his experience behind the movement. He released a statement saying First Nations are keeping their communities and businesses growing online by “exercising our inherent and constitutional rights.”