Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority reveals plans to launch online gambling

The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) is set to launch online gambling in the province via an agreement between the provincial government and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN).

This marks the latest province in Canada to take steps towards legalizing online gambling activities.

Saskatchewan and online gambling

Last week, the SIGA announced an amendment to the provinces’ Gaming Framework Agreement had been signed between the FSIN and the province to establish the legal framework for a new online gambling site.

The new site, saskGaming, will be run by the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation and cover online sports betting and online casino gambling activities. The amendment also establishes a 50/50 revenue split between FSIN and the Province.

The site is expected to launch at some point during 2022.

“This new online gaming site will be a safe, regulated and secure platform that will fall under existing responsible gambling practices,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskGaming. “This site will have measures and resources in place to support players and protect privacy, while also contributing to the social and economic wellbeing of Saskatchewan.”

Meanwhile, SIGA Chair Chief Reginald Bellerose explained that revenue generated from the new site would have a major positive impact on First Nations communities in the province.

Bellerose said: “This is an important day for SIGA, as we continue to evolve with a changing gaming industry, and in our delivery of entertainment options for our customers.

“The additional revenue opportunities from online gaming and sports betting, will only increase SIGA’s ability as a non-profit to positively impact employment, economic growth, positive community relations and financial self-reliance of First Nations in the province.”

Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, Jim Reiter added: “The Province and FSIN have had a long and successful history as partners in casino gaming. Over the years, SIGA has earned their reputation as a top-quality gaming organization and we’re excited to move forward with them on this new venture.”

Online gambling expansion in Canada

Several of Canada’s provinces have been recently taking steps to legalise online gambling activities. Efforts to permit these activities were largely helped by the national government’s decision to lift the ban on single-event sports wagering earlier this year.

Single-event sports wagering went live in Canada in late August when the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) confirmed it would launch sports betting on its platform. The province of Ontario also moved quickly to offer sports betting in August.

Ontario’s regulator is hoping to launch an open sports betting market towards the end of 2021. Provincial regulators hope to have an open online gambling market ready for December.

The province of Ontario is set to open its marketing through a licensing system and has recently published an updated version of its standards for online sports betting and online gaming in the province.