Saskatchewan introduces sports betting ahead of the Gray Cup

Just ahead of this month’s Canadian Football League Gray Cup championship game in Regina, the province of Saskatchewan introduced single-event sports betting last Thursday.

The much-anticipated launch comes after Saskatchewan last September announced a partnership with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) to create the province’s first legal, regulated online gaming operation. SIGA, the official operator of PlayNow.com in the province, announced the British Columbia Lottery Corporation as its winning provider in June.

The PlayNow.com platform is managed by Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, a company trading as SaskGaming. PlayNow.com is the first and only regulated online gaming provider in Saskatchewan.

“This platform is a step forward for the gaming industry and for a meaningful reconciliation with the indigenous peoples in the province,” said Don Morgan, who serves as minister responsible for SaskGaming, in a statement.

The legal sports betting market in Canada continues to expand after the nation went live with single event sports betting about a year ago. Single game sports betting was decriminalized in Canada in June 2021 when the Senate passed legislation legalizing the activity at the federal level.

Live dealer games to follow

To prepare Saskatchewan sportsbooks for launch, SIGA announced the launch date last month in the middle of the CFL season. Saskatchewan, a relatively small province of about 1.2 million people, follows larger provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia in introducing single event sports betting.

“This historic partnership is the first of its kind with a First Nations online gaming operator with revenue sharing between First Nations and the province,” FSIN Chief Executive Bobby Cameron said in a statement. “This will bring many economic benefits to the province’s residents and to our First Nations communities.”

Currently, the PlayNow platform offers more than 500 casino games as well as a wide range of sports betting. PlayNow expects to add live dealer games in December, with poker products to follow in 2023.

“BCLC is thrilled to help bring legal, regulated online gambling to Saskatchewan,” said BCLC President and CEO Pat Davis. “Saskatchewan players will enjoy the products offered by our industry-leading PlayNow.com platform, but they can also feel safe playing at a site with significant player health safeguards.”

The Saskatchewan Roughriders finished the CFL season with a 6–12 record and ended the 2022 season on a seven-game losing streak. When Mosaic Stadium hosts the 109th Gray Cup on November 20th, it will be the fourth time the CFL championship game will be hosted in Regina, the Saskatchewan capital.



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