Just ahead of this month’s Canadian Football League Grey Cup championship game in Regina, the province of Saskatchewan launched single-event sports betting last Thursday.
The highly anticipated rollout comes after Saskatchewan announced a partnership with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) to establish the province’s first legal, regulated online gaming enterprise last September. SIGA, the official operator of PlayNow.com in the province, announced the British Columbia Lottery Corporation as its winning vendor in June.
The PlayNow.com platform is managed by the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, an entity that trades under the name SaskGaming. PlayNow.com is the first and only regulated online gaming operator in Saskatchewan.
Legally regulated sports betting is now live in Saskatchewan. https://t.co/qsHdKgtzw4
— CTV Regina (@ctvregina) November 4, 2022
“This platform is a step forward for the gaming industry and for meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province,” Don Morgan, who serves as minister responsible for SaskGaming, said in a statement.
The legal market for sports betting in Canada continues to expand after the nation went live with single-event sports wagering roughly a year ago. Single-game sports betting was decriminalized in Canada in June 2021 when its Senate passed a bill legalizing the activity on the federal level.
Live dealer games to follow
To prepare Saskatchewan sports bettors for the launch, SIGA announced the rollout date last month during the heart of CFL season. Saskatchewan, a relatively small province with about 1.2 million residents, follows larger provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia with the launch of single-event sports betting.
“This historical partnership is the first of its kind, with a First Nations operator for online gaming with revenue sharing between First Nations and the Province,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in a statement. “This will provide many economic benefits to the residents of the province and our First Nations communities.”
At present, the PlayNow platform offers more than 500 casino games, along with a wide range of sports betting offerings. PlayNow expects to add live dealer games in December, with poker products to follow in 2023.
The big day is finally here! PlayNow Saskatchewan is offically launched. Sign up and now and begin playing at https://t.co/GjyzP4Ygkk (must be 19+) #onlinegaming #playnow #casino #games #sportsbetting #sk #sknews pic.twitter.com/Ei5Yhpm7SX
— SIGA (@HomeSIGA) November 3, 2022
“BCLC is thrilled to help bring legal, online regulated 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 confident playing on a website with significant player health safeguards.”
The Saskatchewan Roughriders finished the CFL season with a 6-12 record, ending the 2022 campaign on a seven-game losing streak. When Mosaic Stadium hosts the 109th Grey Cup on Nov. 20, it will mark the fourth time the CFL championship game will be held in Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan.