SIGA celebrates record-breaking profits in 2022-23 as revenues return to pre-pandemic levels

Net income increased 87.7% to $126m in a significant year that saw the launch of

The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) has reflected enthusiastically on a financial year that saw the organization post record-breaking profits in 2022-23.

Releasing its Annual Report yesterday, SIGA – the operator of seven First Nation-owned casinos located across Saskatchewan – reported $292.6m in revenue for the year ended Mar. 31, 2023, up 49.4% on the previous year (2021-22: $195.8m) and bringing it in line with pre-pandemic levels.

SIGA also announced that net income had nearly doubled (+87.7%) from $68.2m in 2021-22 to $126m in 2023-23.

These top-line numbers are hugely significant as the non-profit corporation reinvests all net revenue back into the province.

Casino net revenue is redistributed as follows: 50% to the First Nations Trust (which is distributed to the 74 First Nations in the province), 25% to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) which reinvests the money back into local community initiatives, and 25% to the provincial General Revenue Fund.

“SIGA continues to be a major driver in the province, strengthening the lives of First Nation people through employment, economic growth, positive community relations and financial self-reliance,” said Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron.

SIGA also operates – the first legal online gaming and sports betting site in Saskatchewan – which launched on Nov. 3, 2022. This was an historic landmark as SIGA became the only First Nations-owned company to have a 50-50 sharing agreement for online gaming revenue in Canada.

Since the initial launch, has acquired over 15,000 clients, and was profitable in its first fiscal year of operation, attracting $113m in online slot wagers and $50m in slot spins.

In November and December alone – the website’s first two months of operations – generated $31.8m from wagering as a clear distinction was made between the popularity of its online casino and sports betting divisions, with $30.6m and $1.6m wagered respectively.

SIGA’s next focus for PlayNow is to develop its customer base through enhanced marketing capabilities and partnerships with other gaming stakeholders in Saskatchewan.

Zane Hansen, SIGA President and CEO, said: “This past year was an important time of recovery for SIGA from the pandemic, as we launched in Saskatchewan and kept a steady focus on ‘Building Back’ our most critical resources – our markets, our employees, and our finances.

“SIGA’s efforts were rewarded as a return of revenues to pre-pandemic levels, combined with operational efficiencies, resulted in record-breaking earnings for SIGA.”

SIGA also shared several gaming operations highlights from the 2022-23 fiscal year, naming the Casino Management System upgrade as a ‘major’ one, while last year saw the return of the gaming replenishment program after two years prior of not purchasing new gaming products. The new product started to arrive in the late summer, and the new slot machines being installed during the last half of the fiscal year resulted in record-setting revenues for the previous two quarters.

Meanwhile, a breakdown of its seven casinos in the province offered a glimpse into how each has developed in the past year.

  • Dakota Dunes Casino – situated on Whitecap Dakota First Nation – recorded the highest net revenue ($43.7m) in SIGA last year, aided by a record-breaking month of slot revenue ($7.6m) in March 2023. The casino also paid out 4875 jackpots with a value of $24.9m.
  • Bear Claw Casino – located on the White Bear First Nation – paid out $12.3m in jackpots and achieved a record revenue of ‘just over’ $2m.
  • Mosquito First Nation’s Gold Eagle Casino paid out $19.3m in jackpots in its 27th year of business.
  • Gold Horse Casino – a Little Pine First Nation – paid out $17.7m in jackpots and had a record net income of $5.8m in its fourth year of operation.
  • Nekaneet First Nation’s Living Sky Casino paid out over $11m in jackpots and hosted eight entertainment events during 2022-23.
  • Northern Light Casino (Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation) paid out $28.4m in jackpots and had a net income of $40.6m – 48% above target.
  • Painted Hand Casino (Kahkewistahaw First Nation) paid out $7.9m in jackpots, while its net income ($12.2m) and overall revenue ($28.1m) were 61% and 13% above target, respectively.

SIGA’s quest to maintain best responsible gaming (RG) practices has seen four of its casinos (Dakota Dunes Casino, Gold Horse Casino, Living Sky Casino, and Northern Lights Casino) achieve their RG Check Accreditation from the Responsible Gambling Council of Canada.

The remaining three SIGA Casinos (Bear Claw Casino and Hotel, Gold Eagle Casino, and Painted Hand Casino) will be undergoing their accreditation process in 2023-2024.

SIGA further noted that, through its Community Investments Program, the organization invested $1.3m into sponsorships of hundreds of community events and programming throughout the province in 2022-23.

Looking ahead, Hansen added: “In 2023-24, there will be a significant shift in how the province oversees gaming. The launch of Lotteries & Gaming Saskatchewan (LGS) now carries out the managerial oversight of all forms of gaming – replacing roles previously carried out by three separate government ministries.

“This next year, we also anticipate a dynamic industry environment with elements of change, risk, and opportunity. We finalized a new Strategic Plan with a five year road map for SIGA.

“Our business plan for 2023-24 is structured around pillars that will best position SIGA to meet new challenges and move forward in a new environment. SIGA is now focused on making smart future investments in its employees, casino facilities, marketing, and reinvesting back into the communities where we operate.”

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