SIGA expects sportsbook offerings to launch by summer

Saskatchewan could offer its residents online sports betting by this summer, according to the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA).

SIGA won the right to operate the province’s regulated online gaming and sports betting offerings back in September 2021, soon after Bill C-218 was passed to legalize single-event wagers across Canada.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and the province signed an amendment to the Gaming Framework Agreement (GFA) to establish the legal framework for a new online gaming site to be run by SIGA with a 50/50 revenue split between FSIN and the province. SIGA will operate the site with exclusivity for five years, and it will be managed by Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation.

SIGA, which operates seven casinos in the province, expects to be offering sports betting at its land-based facilities and through its online gaming portal by summer 2022, director of communications for SIGA Alanna Adamko told Covers in an email.

Currently, bettors in Saskatchewan can only place legal sports bets by travelling to a retail store and getting a ticket through Western Canada Lottery Corporation’s SPORT SELECT game. Such bets are capped at $100. In contrast, its neighbouring provinces of Alberta and Manitoba currently have internet-based sportsbooks run by government-owned lottery and gaming corporations.

All proceeds from SIGA’s casino operations go to local First Nation communities. FSIN, which represents 74 First Nations in the province, and the Saskatchewan government have already settled on a new 50/50 revenue-sharing agreement that splits profits right down the middle.

SIGA Chair Chief Reginald Bellerose said back in September that the arrangement “will only increase SIGA’s ability as a non-profit to positively impact employment, economic growth, positive community relations and financial self-reliance of First Nations in the province”.

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