After a long drawn out process, plans for Manitoba’s First Nations to bring a new casino to Winnipeg are still not finalised due to the Pallister government’s strong opposition. The issue doesn’t look like it will be resolved any time soon either, with the Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs declaring that they will now be exploring their legal options.

Here we will break down exactly what has happened and look at how the matter could eventually be settled.

Why can’t there be a new Winnipeg casino?

The First Nations run casino in The Pas, was faltering and not making the impact that the owners had hoped for, but a clause in the license agreement meant that they could relocate. They decided to take advantage of this and identified Winnipeg as the place to go for, given it was a larger market area and therefore could expect to attract more people.

However, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister delivered a clear dismissal of the idea, responding “absolutely no” to a reporter’s question on whether the casino had a chance to move to Winnipeg. He further backed up his reasoning by claiming that there is too much gaming in the area and more importantly that gambling does not have a positive impact on the economy.

Pallister added: “I want people to get jobs, I want people to have opportunities to grow and learn and work together and help each other, and the gambling industry isn’t going to do that. The rationale for setting up casinos on First Nations reserves that the previous government used was that it was going to create jobs in those communities.”

Given the strong stance on the matter, First Nations have decided to take matters further.

What happens next?

Derek Nepinak has vowed to take legal action as First Nations look to relocate their casino
Derek Nepinak has vowed to take legal action as First Nations look to relocate their casino

This prompted the Manitoba Chiefs, Grand Chief, Derek Nepinak to declare that they would be seeking to take legal action, over what they deem to be an unfair ruling.

Winnipeg is the gaming market in Manitoba and for us to be shoved aside and kept out of the prime gaming market is unjust. It’s in bad faith and we aren’t going to stand for that. We are upping the stakes by looking at our legal options and moving from there,” he said.

Those comments followed a two and a half hour discussion behind closed doors in Manitoba with First Nation chiefs as they discussed the gaming options in the province. Yet, that clearly didn’t result in an amicable agreement with Nepinak determined to take things further.

Essentially, this leaves everyone in a similar situation as before, with nothing resolved. Those in favour of the Winnipeg casino feel they will be able to produce a suitable business plan that contains thorough market analysis demonstrating why it would be the right move. Although, that stage could still be a long way away!

The team at Lucky Nugget Casino will be sure to keep you updated with all the goings on and latest developments with the Winnipeg casino. Either way, you don’t need the casino to relocate to enjoy the thrill of the table games; just head on over to our extensive range now.

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