This week Saskatchewan provided an update on its highly-anticipated provincially regulated iGaming and online sports betting platform. On Monday, June 6, 2022, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority reached a vendor agreement with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. Through this deal, the BCLC will develop SIGA’s platform for online casino and single-game sports betting this fall.
The project for the province’s regulated online gaming platform was announced a while ago, and the province gave the responsibility for it to the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority. Previously, SIGA started an extensive bidding process for a request of proposals, through which the BLCL was selected. The Crown will develop both an online platform and a mobile app for locals.
Possible Fall Launch
President and CEO of SIGA, Zane Hansen, predicts that the new online portal and the mobile app could be up and running by October this year. In his opinion, the agreement with the BCLC is a great step forward for the project, and according to him no other First Nation organization in the county has had the opportunity to oversee a provincial iGaming platform.
Mr. Hansen indicated that the First Nation is going to make most of this opportunity and generate plenty of revenue and benefits to go back to the beneficiaries, the Nation, and the local government. The local platform will be only available to residents of Saskatchewan and they must be at least 19 years old to be eligible for an account.
The President and CEO commented that the only platform will have protocols in place that will verify users’ age as well as their geographical location. Thus, securing a safe environment. BCLC’s PlayNow will be specifically customized for the Saskatchewan market. As the B.C. corporation already provides a number of services to Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries.
According to Mr. Hansen, single-event betting will be one of the most popular verticals on the new platform. He said that the offering creates a more active and engaged player base, as bettors would watch more and longer. He added that sports betting brands will have to pay the leagues for data, which comes as hefty to the local teams.
Impact on Operations
Similar to every other province and its casino industry, SIGA’s gaming operations have also been severely affected by the closure of gaming properties. After entering lockdown at the end of 2020, Saskatchewan closed down all casinos until June 2021, when they were allowed to restart work. At the relaunch casinos operated with limited capacity and a limit on food and drinks.
Recognized for Its Achievements
Back in March 2020, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority was recognized for its proven benefit to the province. Back then SIGA was acknowledged for being one of the best employers in the province for the third year in a row. The organization was once more ranked among the top 100 employers in Canada’s Top 100 Employers Project list.
Source: Ponticelli, Daniella “SIGA signs with B.C. lotto corp. to develop online gaming platform this fall”, CBC News, June 6, 2022