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New Brunswick tribes could face casino battle

16 November 2007

NEW BRUNSWICK -- As reported by the CBC News: "Ambitions among New Brunswick First Nations groups to build a casino independent of government will likely meet with litigation as the province defends its legal high ground on gaming issues, experts contend.

"That is, if the province doesn't wilfully ignore First Nations gambling pursuits to avoid a contentious political showdown.

"Unimpressed with the Liberal government's new gambling policy, some First Nations leaders have vowed to pursue a casino on their own outside of government regulations.

"Last week the government announced it would allow one casino in the province, aimed to produce $25 million in annual revenue for the province.

"...Chief Susan Levi-Peters of the Elsipogtog First Nation in Kent County doubts First Nations groups can compete with private developers and so is pushing for a separate First Nations-run project.

"She contends First Nations are free to bypass provincial gambling legislation because Indian affairs fall under federal jurisdiction.

"...According to Levi-Peters, investors are keen to develop the project, which would include a hotel, water park, aboriginal heritage theme park and casino.

"The resulting revenues, she says, would be a boon to all of the province's 15 First Nations..."

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