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   Sunday, June 16 2024 
Montreal: Dilemma about illegal poker room in Kahnawake reserve

Everything is allowed at Snake's Poker Club, a few miles from Montreal. Besides poker tournaments with money, smoking and alcohol for free are possible. Furthermore, order food while playing is another special feature of this poker room of the aboriginal reserve of Kahnawake. Rebuilt in 2008, most of the customer is composed of young men, French and English. However, to play at Snake, it is obligatory to identify by becoming members of the club. Customers are photographed and the presentation of proof of identity is imperative before joining table games. And players frequenting this playing room are unanimous in saying that the place is more interesting than casinos because the atmosphere is less stressful and the game is less commercial.

Moreover, the opening of another illegal poker room, Playground, former Okware Poker Palace since December 2010 promoted further the popularity of aboriginal poker clubs of Kahnawake, reinforced by the operation of websites of the two institutions, the Snake and the Playground. Faced to this embarrassing situation, the spokesperson of Loto-Quebec, Marie-Claude Rivet, merely stated that these clubs of poker are illegal according to the Criminal Code which stipulates that only Loto-Quebec can operate gambling in Quebec. For their part, the press officer of the Minister of Justice, Jean-Marc Fournier left to the care of the police the explanation of poker rooms with money in operation in Kahnawake as the Department of Aboriginal Affairs that indicated that it has no jurisdiction about gambling on reserves.

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