Illegal gambling is among the main reasons for the worsened money state of a given community including insufficient funds that could have otherwise been boosted by gaming allocations.
Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation’s former Chief Andrew Penashue was accused of managing an illegal gambling den in the First Nation community and now he has a trial date. He would have to return to the court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on November 26.
Gaming operation is able to boost a given community in many ways and just like everything it has its positive and negative features. A mandatory condition when overseeing any casino venue or gambling hall is that it has a license issued by the province that also includes allocations. A percentage of the gaming revenue amassed by the location is allocated to the host community as compensation.
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This is the element that makes gaming operation fair for everyone participating in it and what guarantees its sustainability. The allocations are later on used for various local projects in need of funding that improve residents’ lives.
Illegal gaming dens do nothing to the community in this sense and are considered harmful. The former chief of the First Nation community was accused of overseeing a gaming den welcoming tribal members and at the beginning of June, he had to defend himself before the local court.
It could be recalled that last year a Royal Canadian Mounted Police raid revealed a location considered being an illegal gambling house. It featured 11 Video Lottery Terminals, a bingo machine, as well as an ATM that supposedly made the gaming operation even easier. Back in September 2018, he was accused of being the mastermind behind the illegal operation and he had to prepare for June 2019 and the official court hearing.
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He pleaded not guilty on charges under the Criminal Code for the illegal operation of the alleged gambling den. Furthermore, he was also accused of breaching the Lotteries Act of Newfoundland and Labrador and the regulations coming with it.
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Every gaming operation happening without the mandatory license issued by the province is considered illegal. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation has not issued any permit allowing a gaming house within the First Nation. Mr. Penashue is about to return to court in November and he would be joined by Mary Gregoire, linked to the same gaming operation.
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The former chief would defend himself, whereas Mrs. Gregoire would have to report solely. What should also be taken into account is that the two individuals have also been in possession of weapons, which was discovered during the RCMP raid on site. Along with the gaming den charges, they would have to face three charges linked to illegal weapon possession of a .22 caliber air rifle.
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In the meantime, Atlantic Lottery Corporation is also linked to another lawsuit, this time a class-action one involving more than 30,000 individuals directly affected by Video Lottery Terminals operation. The groundbreaking lawsuit claims that the devices are deceiving by nature and should cease operation in Newfoundland and Labrador that could later change other provinces attitude as well.