In most cases, in most countries, in most industries competition is seen as a beneficial thing – to keep challenging you to keep your company, your brand and your eyes alert to what your competition is doing, to give you something as a measuring stick and keep you always on top of your goals.
However, it’s not so much of a welcoming competitive edge in Manitoba Canada as the AMC are filing a lawsuit worth over $850m against the state’s own government. The case is based on the government’s allowance or approval to the opening of a rival in the area that has led to a loss of revenue to the Manitoban Chiefs.
AMC – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC, formerly known as the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood, presented their landmark position paper entitled, "Wahbung: Our Tomorrows”.
The Grand Chief is Arlen Dumas. He is from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in Pukatawagan.
The case, as we touched upon, is based upon the approval of the opening for the Shark Club Gaming Centre – such opening has been claimed to cost the AMC not just thousands, but millions and millions of dollars in revenue due to the competition absorbing a large portion of the gambling turnover that would normally go through the one sole operation.
As a trifecta of claimants, the AMC, AMC Secriatat Inc and the Sand Hills Casino Resort Limited Partnership say that the allowance of the Shark Club was in breach of its commitment and it’s word toward support and financial preferences for the First Nation’s gaming market with the refusal of permissions to open a First Nations Casino in Winnipeg.
They see Winnipeg as the only market in the state where casinos can generate the best and most significant turnover and revenue and as such are seeking this huge settlement as damages.
A big supporting point and substance to the lawsuit are that the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries board, who own 2 casinos in Winnipeg, rejected claims from the AMC to build their casino in an effort to preserve and protect their investment and revenue in a selfish manner.
The government kept the Winnipeg market for themselves and non-First Nation owners and relegated the First Nations to more remote areas in the province.
All in all, the AMC are claiming that everything has been done in such an adverse manner to halt their requests at every turn – the government reportedly increased costs of all sorts of equipment and denied financial aid to the AMC in different areas which continue to point towards support for one part of the gaming operation in Manitoba rather than another.
This is the statement as prepared and reported by the CBC branch in Manitoba, Canada:
Gaming for First Nations in Manitoba is a part of our culture, and should be a meaningful tool for our economic development.”
We engaged with the Government of Manitoba starting 20 years ago in a regime for First Nations to get licenses for, own and benefit from what was supposed to be the next five casinos in the province. These casinos were supposed to be established in viable markets. We were supposed to become more financially sustainable as a result. This did not happen.
These were commitments made by the provincial government over and over again. Those commitments were broken and we are unjustly paying the price. It is time for this government to step up and work with us to create a real solution. We hope they will. If they refuse, we'll continue to seek justice for this in the courts.