Aboriginal leader wants province to put cards on table about Winnipeg casino
Derek Nepinak, head of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, addresses media on Jan. 24, 2013 in Winnipeg.
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 24, 2013 4:57PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, January 24, 2013 5:00PM CST
WINNIPEG -- A Manitoba aboriginal leader is accusing the NDP government of being underhanded in setting up a new mini-casino in Winnipeg.
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is criticizing the decision to allow the owners of the Winnipeg Jets to set up a gambling centre this spring.
The facility will feature blackjack and roulette tables as well as 140 slot machines.
Nepinak is upset because in 2007 the province and First Nations agreed not to set up an aboriginal casino in Winnipeg because the market was already saturated.
First Nations leaders were prompted to eye Brandon for a casino because there were already two casinos in Winnipeg.
Nepinak says the government owes First Nations an explanation.
Lotteries Minister Steve Ashton has said the Jets' facility is not a casino, but is simply a small gaming venue that will help the NHL team financially.