BCLC is expanding its online gambling platform PlayNow.com to a third province, after signing a contract with the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) and SaskGaming to provide regulated online gambling to Saskatchewan players.
In addition to its operations in British Columbia and Manitoba, PlayNow.com in Saskatchewan, once launched, will feature 400+ entertaining casino, Live Casino, poker, and sports-betting products, supported by world-class gaming vendors and their strategic partnerships with BCLC.
PlayNow was chosen as Saskatchewan’s turnkey online gaming platform following an extensive Request for Proposal process that SIGA launched last year. PlayNow.com is the only gambling website in North America that offers dedicated player-health specialists known as GameSense Advisors.
SIGA, a nonprofit which operates seven First Nations-owned casinos in Saskatchewan, will operate the platform in the province and development of the site will begin immediately with the goal of being operational by the end of 2022.
“SIGA is very excited to bring the PlayNow online casino and sports betting experience to Saskatchewan,” said SIGA President & CEO Zane Hansen. “The PlayNow platform is very competitive against any other online offering. This online offering will integrate into our existing casino operations and will further enhance the entertainment options for SIGA’s and SaskGaming’s customers.”
“I heard there was lots of interest [in the RFP],” Canadian Gaming Association President and CEO Paul Burns said, per Sports Handle. “That’s great for them. It’s a tremendous opportunity for SIGA to extend their brands online and integrate them with SaskGaming, and be able to create a really great offering for the province of Saskatchewan.”
BCLC launched PlayNow.com in British Columbia in 2004. It is currently the fastest-growing channel of BCLC’s business with ongoing year-over-year growth. In 2013, BCLC began providing the platform to Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries.
Net income generated from BCLC, including from PlayNow.com, goes back to the Province of B.C. to help fund healthcare, education and community programs. The Province of B.C. shares seven per cent of net income generated from BCLC with B.C. First Nations, under the BC First Nation Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership.
Meanwhile, back in September, the Saskatchewan government and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan, established a 50/50 revenue-sharing agreement, making SIGA the only First Nations operator in Canada to have such a deal with any level of government for online gaming.