Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) hopes the new online gaming and betting platform being prepared for Saskatchewan punters will be up and running by November, according to the organization’s director of communications.
Last month, SIGA announced that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC)’s PlayNow platform, already the only regulated online gambling site in both British Columbia and Manitoba, had been selected to power Saskatchewan’s new site. At that time, it was suggested that the site would launch by the end of the year.
However, SIGA’s director of communications and media relations Alanna Adamko now says the site could be operational by November in time for this year’s Grey Cup, which is being held in Regina, Sask. on Nov. 20, as reported by Sports Handle.
Adamko added that SIGA chose BCLC as their partner for the site because of its longstanding history of successful operations and commitment to responsibly gaming through its GameSense platform.
“BCLC has a mature, established platform successfully operating in B.C. and Manitoba, and their depth of knowledge in the Canadian market strengthens their position,” Adamko said.
SIGA, a non-profit which has been running Saskatchewan gaming since the 1990s, will run the Saskatchewan online gaming site in collaboration with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) after the province struck a deal last fall to establish a 50/50 revenue-sharing agreement. That makes SIGA the only First Nations operator in Canada to have an online gaming deal with any level of government.
SIGA is considering looking to launch custom-developed games for the Saskatchewan market, reports Sports Handle.
Adamko also suggested that the organization will consider launching a sportsbook at multiple casino venues in the province. SIGA operates seven First Nations-owned casinos in Saskatchewan.
“SIGA is presently reviewing floor plan designs for two properties to refresh and remodel for a sportsbook and food and beverage experience,” Adamko said.
“SIGA will look to expand its entertainment offerings at sites with a strategy of convergence between online and brick-and-mortar,” she added. “We plan on utilizing a click-and-brick approach to drive customers to our site locations.”
Adamko also said that SIGA will look to draw customers away from Saskatchewan’s significant grey market by promoting its strong established brand and through sign-up and frequent bonus promotional offers, as well as with PlayNow’s mature and easy-to-use sign-up process. SIGA will also have to compete on the physical betting side with the Sport Select platform that is available at some retail locations through the Western Canadian Lottery Corporation. SIGA says its online sports betting product through PlayNow will offer specialized event wagering such as for the Oscars and U.S. elections, which aren’t available through that provider.