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Saskatchewan Introduces New Gambling Regulator

Last week, Saskatchewan’s provincial government informed the public that it will be launching another new Crown corporation to oversee gaming. Titled Lotteries and Gaming Saskatchewan, the new entity will be monitoring gaming policy and management. It is also aimed to eliminate real or perceived conflicts as a result of both licensing and regulatory bodies being under SLGA jurisdiction.

The new Crown agency was introduced via legislation last week, and once the new body is up and running and fully operational it will manage all casinos, VLTs, online gaming, and lotteries in the province. In addition to that, the new Crown will also lead the gaming strategy and the Gaming Framework Agreement on behalf of the Province of Saskatchewan.

New Regulatory Crown

Last week, Crown Investments Corporation Minister Don Morgan announced that the province will be launching Lotteries and Gaming Saskatchewan, which is a new commercial Crown to oversee gaming. Meanwhile, gaming regulation will remain consolidated within the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, and when the new body launches it will oversee casinos, VLTs, iGaming, and lotteries.

Furthermore, Mr. Morgan shared that the new Crown entity will allow the province to keep up with the stride of the quickly expanding gaming landscape, while also keeping the unique setting of having distinct operators, such as Sask. Lotteries, SaskGaming and SIGA. Proceeds from gaming will still go to local community organizations, as the new legislation keeps the previous model.

Once the new legislation is passed into law, it will go into effect retroactively to April 1, 2023, while full conduct and management will be in motion from June 1, 2023. In the press release, the minister also informed that the new LGS will lead the gaming strategy and the gaming framework on behalf of the province of Saskatchewan.

It should be also mentioned, that SLGA’s area of responsibility was alleviated when the province reported that it was selling off all of its remaining liquor stores. Also, in February 2023, after the last permit auctions took place, the SLGA’s take was at around CA$45 million. But the government still keeps control of liquor pricing through taxation and over the wholesale business.

iGaming Prospering

In November 2022, Saskatchewan introduced its first provincially regulated online platform for online gambling. For its first two months of operations, the website generated more than CA$31.8 million in online wagering handle. The platform reported CA$1.6 million in net proceeds, while CA$30.6 million came from online casinos, and the rest from sports betting.

In February 2023, PointsBet Canada came up with a recommendation for the province. It advised it to follow Ontario’s model of opening a market for private operators. CEO of the firm commented that Ontario’s iGaming model is effective at handling the offshore sector and has provided a path to regulation of grey-market operators.

Source: “Saskatchewan creating new lotteries and gaming Crown corporationRegina Leader-Post, March 30, 2023