Saskatchewan sports bettors are about to have a legal online sports betting option at their fingertips.
Legal sports betting in Saskatchewan is about to enter the 21st century.
The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) announced on Friday that PlayNow.com, the province’s new online sports betting and casino gaming site, will launch on Thursday, November 3rd.
“We are excited to be the exclusive provider of Saskatchewan’s first and only legal online gaming site that will offer residents a safe and secure way to play their favorite casino games and bet on their favorite sports teams online,” said Zane, President and CEO of SIGA Hansen in a press release.
SIGA was founded by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. FSIN and the Province also announced in 2021 that they had reached an agreement (including a 50/50 revenue split) that paved the way for a new online gaming site in Saskatchewan that SIGA would officially operate.
In June, SIGA announced that the British Columbia Lottery Corp. (BCLC) and its PlayNow platform for the website. Saskatchewan will now become the third province to use the platform, following BC and Manitoba.
“This historic partnership is the first of its kind with a First Nations online gambling operator with revenue sharing between First Nations and the province,” FSIN Chief Executive Bobby Cameron said in Friday’s release. “This will bring many economic benefits to the province’s residents and to our First Nations communities.”
An online supplement
The partnership also brings Saskatchewan sports bettors closer to a legal online betting option.
Currently, the only form of legal sports betting in the province is that of the Western Canada Lottery Corp. offered products such as SPORT SELECT. The game has single bets and props, but it also has a $100 limit and requires you to go to a lottery dealer to get a ticket.
Other provinces offer online sports betting options, which have been added or modified following the legalization of betting on single events over the past year. However, Saskatchewan agreed to let SIGA do this business, and the group began soliciting suggestions from the gaming industry before settling on BCLC.
SIGA’s Hansen said the Gaming Authority was looking for a “complete turnkey solution” that would offer both online sports betting and casino gaming, as well as robust responsible gaming features. And SIGA, which operates seven brick-and-mortar casinos in Saskatchewan, was looking for a way to integrate the site with its player loyalty programs as well.
“[BCLC] had put together a very good package and that made them stand out from the rest,” Hansen said in an interview with Covers.
SIGA also tries to attract users of “grey market” gaming sites. These sites may be licensed or regulated out of province or abroad, but they are not regulated by the province or SIGA and are not authorized to accept wagers in Saskatchewan.
“I think the best we can do is just give [bettors] a very competitive and fun product with good selection,” said Hansen.
“We are delighted to welcome https://t.co/1u6L3gx9ZW as a valued partner and newest member of our strong Rider Nation.”
Craig Reynolds, President and CEO of Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club.
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— Saskatchewan Roughriders (@sskroughriders) October 21, 2022
Saskatchewan residents age 19 and older can now pre-register on the province’s PlayNow website before launch.
Out-of-province residents should also be able to play the site when it goes live and while in Saskatchewan. That could come in handy for travelers who are expected to flock to the province in November for the 109th game of the Canadian Football League’s championship game, the Gray Cup.
PlayNow has already partnered with Saskatchewan’s beloved Roughriders. The CFL team will start wearing the site’s logo on their jerseys to drive people to the platform starting Saturday.
“Similar to the existing brick-and-mortar casinos in the province, all net revenue from the PlayNow.com website will be reinvested back into Saskatchewan,” Hansen noted in the press release.