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Kahnawake Gaming Commission Licences (April 2024)

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Kahnawake Gaming Commission

All land-based and online casino operators in Kahnawake are regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. It states and enforces the laws that pertain to all sorts of gambling operations such as online casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks and so on. The Commission was founded in 1996 and in 1999 it established the Regulations concerning Interactive Gaming. It was among the first gambling jurisdictions to regulate online gambling, and today it regulates over 50 operators and licences over 250 gambling operations.

Gambling in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake

Kahnawake is a Mohawk Territory that is located on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, just across from Montreal. It is a First Nations reserve that is self-governing and has a population of around 8,000 people, across an area of nearly 20 square miles. Though it is quite a small territory, it represents a large portion of the online gambling market.

Kahnawake is not the only First Nations reserve that is independent, and the reserve maintains its right to form its gaming laws that are independent of those of Canada. In the Consitution Act of 1982, the legality of Kahnawake's right to regulate gaming operations was officially recognised and confirmed by the country. Since, Canada has never challenged the Kahnawake, or any other self-governing First Nation reserve's gaming laws.

With the Regulations concerning Interactive Gaming act was enacted in 1999, Kahnawake has issued licences for online gambling operators. The main goals of the commission are to make sure online gaming is conducted legally, fairly and with a responsibility of protecting players' interests.

Gambling Licences

To apply for an online gaming licence in Kahnawake, operators should apply for the Client Provider Authorization licence, or CPA. There is also an Interactive Gaming Licence, that allows operations to provide internet services to Authorized Client Providers, but this licence has only been issued to Mohawk Internet Technologies.

  • Client Provider Authorization
  • Casino Software Provider Authorization
  • Live Dealer Studio Authorization
  • Inter-Jurisdictional Authorizations
  • Key Person Permits

The CPA is the main gambling licence that operators need. It allows an establishment to supply casino games, a sportsbook, poker rooms, bingo, horse racing bets and various other types of casino games. The software provider licence gives a game developer access to the Kahnawake market, allowing them to supply their games to any casinos that are regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Laws. Casino operators that want to supply live dealer games need to apply for a separate licence – the Live Dealer Studio Authorization. This can be done together with the CPA licence.

Establishments that are already operating under another jurisdiction can apply for Inter-Jurisdictional Authorization. This licence allows them to locate a part or all of their equipment or staff in Kahnawake and they can provide games under both licences.

A Key Person Permit is a vital part of the application process. All operations need to have at least one Key Person who can manage and represent the company.


Setting up a sportsbook or an online casino (without live dealer games) requires at least one Key Person Permit and a CPA licence. All applicants are reviewed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and need to provide proof of fairness, reliability, honesty and details about shareholders who own 10% or more ownership of the applying company. The fees for applications are broken down into the following:

  • Client Provider Authorization: $35,000
  • Interjurisdictional Authorization: $2,000
  • Casino Software Provider Authorization: 35,000
  • Live Dealer Studio Authorization: $25,000
  • Key Person Permit: $5,000

These application fees include the cost of due diligence investigations from the commission and the first licensing fee (which is refunded if the application is turned down). At least one Key Person Permit is necessary per applicant. If the application is approved, then the establishment can operate under the Kahnawake Gaming Commission for a period of 6 months. After this, it will have to pay the annual licence fees.

  • CPA: $20,000
  • Interjurisdictional Authorization: $10,000
  • Live Dealer Studio Authorization: $10,000
  • Casino Software Provider Authorization: $20,000 (+$3,000 for each third-party gaming operator)
  • Key Person Permit: $1,000

There is also an application renewal fee that needs to be paid every 5 years.

  • CPA: $5,000
  • Interjurisdictional Authorization: none
  • Live Dealer Studio Authorization: $5,000
  • Casino Software Provider Authorization: $5,000
  • Key Person Permit: $2,500


The fees for applying are quite heavy, and so are the annual licence and application renewal fees. However, operators that are regulated by the commission do not need to pay any tax on their profits. After they have paid their licence renewal fees, any money the casino or sportsbook generates is pure profit for the company.

Pros for Players

When you see a Kahnawake Gaming Commission stamp at the footer of any online casino or sportsbook, it is a good sign. There are many reasons why you should play at casinos or sportsbooks that are regulated by the commission.

Player Safety

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission takes a strong stance on player safety. Operators who obtain licences with the Commission need to provide proof of fairness when making their applications. All games and content need to be verified by third-party auditors to ensure that it is safe for players. The commission has several approved agents that may be appointed to investigate licensed casinos and sportsbooks. These are Scout Intelligence Inc, Triton Canada Inc, Quinel, eCOGRA, Gaming Associates Europe Ltd, and iTech Labs.

Multiple Brands

When a company has a gaming licence with the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, it can run numerous websites with the same licence. This gives operators the chance to become more specialised in what they offer, and more incentive to offer better deals.

International Presence

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is recognised by many jurisdictions across the world. Thus, casinos and sportsbooks have greater reach and will offer as much as they can to compete with their international rivals.

Cons for Players

There are some disadvantages that you may encounter with Kahnawake Gaming Commission-licensed operations. This is not to say that all casinos or sportsbooks will have such drawbacks, but you should be aware of their possibility.

Separate Live Dealer Licence

As casinos need a separate licence to supply live dealer games, some operators may not include them at all. Though live dealer games are hugely popular, applying for a second licence may prove costly, especially for smaller casinos.

Self Exclusion Measures

Whilst the Kahnawake Gaming Commission guarantees safety for its players, the commission does not enforce self-exclusion tools as much as other jurisdictions. You may find that the self-exclusion tools at some casinos are not up to par with casinos that are licensed by other commissions.

No Cryptocurrency

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission has yet to regulate crypto games. This may change in the future, but for the time being crypto gamers should look elsewhere.

International Operators

Many jurisdictions recognise the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. It has an understanding with the Antigua and Barbuda FSRC, Malta Gaming Commission and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. This enables operators to provide their content across those other jurisdictions freely. The UK, Swedish, Danish, Spanish, Romanian, French and Italian gaming authorities also recognise the commission, but operators may need additional permission to operate under those jurisdictions.


The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is quite reputable amongst operators, especially with its 0% tax and international reach. It is not as famous as the UK Gambling Commission, Curacao Gaming Licence or the Malta Gaming Authority. However, this does not mean players should write off the operations that are licensed by the commission. It has a big presence in the iGaming industry and the number of licensees is ever-growing.

Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.