BC First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership

A new commitment to revenue sharing between B.C. and First Nations supports self-government and self-determination, strong healthy communities and services that make life better for families. All First Nations in B.C. can join a limited partnership for a stable, long-term source of funding to invest in their own communities’ priorities.

An interim agreement was signed in summer 2019 and the first two years of revenue were transferred to the BC First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership. Distribution to individual First Nations began in October 2019.

To ensure a stable, long-term source of revenue for B.C. First Nations, the Province has introduced the gaming control amendment act, which, if passed, will provide B.C. First Nations with 7% of BC Lottery Corporation’s net income for 23 years.

The gaming control amendment act will allow government to finalize a long-term agreement to share approximately $100 million per year from provincial net gaming revenue with eligible First Nations. The agreement is expected to result in approximately $3 billion in revenues shared with First Nations by 2045. 

First Nations communities in B.C. eligible for shared gaming revenue

All First Nations communities in B.C. are invited to become partners in a new BC First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership (www.bcfngamingrevenue.ca), which will receive 7% of provincial revenue from gaming for distribution to First Nations.

Revenue sharing between the Province and the First Nations Gaming Commission ensures a stable, long-term source of funding for First Nations to invest in their communities’ priorities, supporting self-government and self-determination.

The BC First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership (www.bcfngamingrevenue.ca) has been established by the First Nations Gaming Commission.

All First Nations communities in B.C. are eligible for gaming revenue. The limited partnership, wholly owned by B.C. First Nations and overseen by a First Nations-appointed board of directors, is responsible for managing and distributing gaming revenue to First Nations governments. Many First Nations communities have already joined the limited partnership as partners to gain access to the funding.

During the next 25 years, about $3 billion is expected to be transferred to First Nations through the limited partnership. This is the largest agreement with First Nations in B.C. history.

The First Nations Gaming Commission led negotiations on behalf of the First Nations Leadership Council, which is made up of three organizations: the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit and Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. B.C First Nations established and mandated the First Nations Gaming Commission through resolutions passed at respective meetings of the three organizations.

Information about how to join the limited partnership is available through the partnership on their website: www.bcfngamingrevenue.ca.

See below for additional information about the gaming revenue-sharing agreement and the BC First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership.

What is the function of the limited partnership?

The First Nations Gaming Commission has established a limited partnership to act as an umbrella organization to which gaming revenue is transferred from the Province, as mandated through resolutions passed by Chiefs at each of the FNLC organization meetings.

The management and distribution of transferred gaming revenues is administered through a limited partnership overseen by a First Nations-appointed board of directors.

The limited partnership is responsible for receiving, managing, distributing and reporting on gaming revenue on behalf of all participating B.C. First Nations.

All B.C. First Nations are invited to become partners in the limited partnership.

How will revenue be distributed among B.C.’s First Nations?

The First Nations Gaming Commission has developed a distribution model that shares the revenue among B.C. First Nations, with a portion going equally to all First Nations communities, a portion distributed based on population, and a portion distributed to remote First Nations.

This formula was endorsed by resolutions passed by Chiefs at each of the FNLC organizations.

How much will First Nations receive?

B.C. First Nations will share in 7% of total net gaming revenue collected annually across the province. Funding will be distributed through a B.C. First Nations owned and controlled limited partnership.

Funding will be distributed to communities based on the following formula, developed by the First Nations Gaming Commission in consultation with First Nations through general assemblies of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit and Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs:

  • 50% base funding (divided equally among partnered First Nations, including modern Treaty Nations, in B.C.);
  • 40% based on population (Indigenous peoples registered under the Indian Act and registered members of treaty Nations); and
  • 10% for geographically remote communities.

Who will be eligible for gaming revenue-sharing?

All B.C. First Nations communities (bands under the federal Indian Act, modern treaty First Nations and defined non-treaty self-governing Nations) are eligible for gaming revenues.

First Nations communities that are partners in the limited partnership receive a share of the gaming revenue collected by the province and transferred to the limited partnership.

Are there conditions for how the money may be spent by First Nations?

B.C. First Nations determine their own priorities for these funds, which may be spent in six areas:

  • health and wellness;
  • infrastructure, safety, transportation and housing;
  • economic and business development;
  • education, language, culture and training;
  • community development and environmental protection; and
  • capacity-building, fiscal management and governance.

Direct distributions to individuals is not permitted.

What is the status of reporting and accountability under the agreement?

All gaming revenue recipients, such as municipal government and non-profit organizations, have reporting requirements for the use of funds from gaming revenue.

In the case of the BC First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership, First Nations that are part of the partnership are accountable for reporting to the partnership. This will be a simple, short audited spending statement that confirms how gaming revenue was spent in their communities, submitted to the partnership once per year.

The limited partnership will provide a summarized report on the transfers to First Nations and annual financial statements related to its own operations and expenses to the Province each year.

Will government be decreasing funding for existing agreements with First Nations that support existing programs and services, now that they have access to another source of funding?

No. There will be no reduction in any other provincial funding to First Nations as the result of the new gaming revenue sharing agreement.

Funding provided through the new gaming arrangement will be incremental to all existing provincial funding that First Nation communities currently receive.

Where can I find information on how to access a share of gaming revenue for my community?

Please go to the BC First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership website at www.bcfngamingrevenue.ca to ensure you get more information.