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3-year Playground Poker pilot project begins

A new era in gambling has begun in Kahnawake. 

Playground Poker Club customers can now use newly installed Electronic Gaming Devices. The Club held a soft opening last night with friends and family only and opened up for business in the newly expanded space this morning. It’s part of a 3-year pilot project that began Wednesday as the license officially went into effect.  

“In terms of the type of games: it’s your classic reel-based games,”
said Mac Kirby, a co-licensee at Playground Poker. “So no games like poker or that would mimic table games that you would find in a casino.” 

Kirby said they have 330 machines that will be in use from 9 am to 4 am, 7-days a week.

“We want to see direct benefit to community,” said Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Chief Gina Deer who holds the Gaming Portfolio. “We’ve been looking at public and private partnerships and this is one of them. We’re optimistic that this will work out well for all parties involved,” Deer said. 

Playground paid $25,000 for their license and fees in the first year to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. The license is then $10, 000 dollars a year after that. But it does not include the royalties that are being paid to MCK.

The royalties to be paid to the MCK are 1-million dollars per year for each of the three years of the pilot project. The one million dollars per year is a minimum amount – Playground says there is no limit on how much they can give back.

Kahnawake student wins McGill literary award

A student from Kahnawake has received a bursary and award at her CEGEP classes through McGill University. Kashennoktha Deer was nominated by her teachers and won the Most Accomplished Literary award in English.

“I would say I am honored but that’s overused a lot…but I am. I really appreciate it,” said Deer. 

“I really appreciate it mostly because after I finish with my farm program I do want to go back to school for English courses. I do want to become an English teacher,” she said. 

The 21-year-old Deer originally entered the Farm Management and Technology program at McDonald college in Ste Anne de Bellevue because she wanted to become a veterinarian.

“I realized that’s not what I want to do. But I would still like to have my own farm,” she said. 

Deer says she had kept pigs for the past three years. 

Even with the dream of expanding and running her own farm, Deer feels the award, which includes a $500 bursary, will now help her pursue her other dream of becoming a teacher. 

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