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Sask. Appoints SIGA for Online Gaming Operator

The government of Saskatchewan and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations have announced their decision to launch a new and regulated online gaming platform for the province. This will be possible after an amendment to the Gaming Framework Agreement signed this Thursday by the government and the federation, that allows a legal framework for such a website.

It was also revealed that the new regulated gaming platform will be operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, and the entity will be splitting the revenue with the government and the federation. According to the agreement, the regulator will take 50% of the revenue, with the other 50% going between the federation and the provincial government.

Making History

During the Thursday announcement First Nations University of Canada in Regina, Chief of the FSIN Bobby Cameron shared the agreement will be a positive benefit to the 74 First Nations. Mr. Cameron explained that the agreement will be one for the history books as it will be the first of its kind in the country. The new platform will offer both online casino games and sports wagering.

Jim Reiter from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority said that the local government and the FSIN have a great relationship with operators from the casino industry. He continued by stating that over the years SIGA has accomplished a great reputation as a top gaming brand and that they are excited to collaborate with the organization for the new project.

The agreement is for five years and it will provide SIGA with the opportunity to operate the website for that period. The organization’s Chair Chief Reginald Bellerose said that this is a great opportunity for them and that online gaming and sports betting provide tons of additional revenue which will help the non-profit organization with providing more for employment, to the economy, and achieve financial self-reliance.

SIGA will now submit a letter of intent to the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation to determine the terms of its and SaskGaming in management of the platform. The organization will also file a request for proposal out to the public, then a joint adjudication process will be held to assess the applicant for the project. The website should be up and running next year.

First Fiscal Losses

The news about the upcoming regulated online gaming platform will be well received around the province and the local gaming industry. In-person gambling has been severely hit by the unprecedented situation and closure of land-based casinos, thus leading to the first-ever financial losses for the SaskGaming Corporation amounting to over CA$13,000,000 for 2020-21 FY. Now with the announcement of the gaming platform gamblers will have another option if brick-and-mortar properties closed down once more.

Summer Reopening

However, the situation in the province has started to normalize this summer as the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority was allowed to restart operations at land-based gaming properties. Seven of the organization’s casinos have renewed work on June 20, 2021. Now Bear Claw Casino and Hotel, Living Sky Casino, Painted Hand Casino, Gold Eagle Casino, Gold Horse Casino, Dakota Dunes Casino Northern Lights Casino operate in a reduced capacity.

Source: Canales-Lavigne, Moises “FSIN, Sask. government announce SIGA as operator of new online gaming website”, Global News, September 23, 2021