A former First Nations chief in New Brunswick says Atlantic Lotto and other lottery corporations owe native people millions of dollars for taxes paid on lotto products sold on reserves.
Robert Levy from Elsipogtog, near Rexton, said the corporation had no right to collect the taxes and that lotto tickets should have the same tax-free status as tobacco or gasoline.
He said the taxes are hidden in the price of lotto products.
"I feel it's an illegal tax that's being taxed on First Nations people right across the country," said Levy.
He wants the money returned to First Nations communities.
"It's got to be quite a bit because we play 6/49 just like everybody else, but that's not the issue," said Levy.
"I guess the issue here is that we're being taxed on reserves and that is illegal."
Atlantic Lotto said Levy is out of luck.
In an email, a spokesperson said the corporation doesn't collect tax on 6/49 tickets either on or off reserves. Instead, the corporation pays tax to Revenue Canada out of its monthly profits. The amount is taken out of expenses.
But Levy said as long as Atlantic Lotto is paying tax, the money is coming from gamblers — and some of it comes from tickets sold to aboriginal people on reserves.
He's lobbying chiefs to negotiate to get the money back.