First legal online gaming and sports betting site coming to Saskatchewan

Sask.'s first legal online sports betting site announces partnership with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. KAN, Saskatchewan’s first and only legal online gaming and sports betting site will be available to Sask. resident’s ages 19 and up, Thursday, Nov. 3.

The online gambling website is the only in North America partnering with gambling specialists, GameSense Advisors. They are available via live chat to support safer play online.

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) will be the official operator of in Saskatchewan as per an operating agreement with SaskGaming.

Popular advertised apps like Bet365 or Sports Interaction, etc. are currently being used by Saskatchewan residents.

Shanna Schulhauser, director of communications for SaskGaming, said current gaming sites in use are actually illegal.

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“These sites are accessible in the province. However, because they are not regulated by the province, they are considered illegal.”

“Currently, thousands of illegal online gaming sites are operating in jurisdictions across Canada. SaskGaming and the Government of Saskatchewan continue to monitor the potential impacts of these grey market sites on its legal and regulated online gaming channel.”

“We are excited to be the exclusive provider of Saskatchewan’s first and only legal online gaming site, which will provide a safe and secure option for residents to play their favourite casino games and bet on their favourite sports teams online,” said Zane Hansen, SIGA president and CEO.

“You can bet on a single game if you’d like – you can bet on activities or elements within a game – so it really gets exciting and we really heard and seen how the betting public really enjoys that,” said Hansen, “It’ll meet all the regulatory standards it’ll be very fast and very secure all of your data is protected, and your privacy is protected as well.”

“Residents will be please to know that when they play on the site, the proceeds are reinvested back into the province. Similar to the existing brick-and-mortar casinos in the province, all net proceeds from the site are reinvested back into Saskatchewan,” he said.

“Each province has mental health issues and addictions, they spend millions of dollars yearly on this and that’s why I wanted to bring this bill to Canada,” Kevin Waugh, MP for Saskatoon Grasswood and Canadian Heritage Committee member said. “I think we needed to bring this bill into Canada to get a hold of those who are having issues with addictions.”

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In 2021, Waugh passed his private member’s bill, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act to legalize single-event sports betting in the Senate. This removes the owner monopoly of black-market bookmakers and offshore websites.

“Mental health and addictions are getting bigger every day in this country,” he said, “Provincial governments are look at ways of funding it. This is one of the ways that they can get some funds to put into the addictions and mental health to help Canadians if they are in need.”

Waugh explains that this new platform will not be without its challenges.

“For SIGA, they have the exclusive territory in Saskatchewan, and this is a concern because we have had decades of off-shore gambling, how do you get those off-shore gambling sites to come into Saskatchewan? It’s going to take probably decades for SIGA to get the database going to compete against these off-shore sites and to make sure that the revenue is used in Saskatchewan, not somewhere off-shore.”

Being the only legal platform for sports gambling in the province, advertising will not be as competitive. Although, SIGA has still partnered with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a sponsorship agreement for Moving forwards, the Riders will be featuring the logo on their jerseys, along with other stadium activations, promoting the online gaming and sports betting site coming to Saskatchewan.

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