Gambling Regulation and Licensing in Province of Saskatchewan (Canada) 2020

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Important notice: all the information is intended to be used only as a reference. It’s not advertising and shall never be considered legal or economic advice. In order to get the precise information, you need to address all your questions to the regulating authorities and organizations in your country.

In fact, the field of gambling in Saskatchewan can be described as a developed and really innovative one, especially keeping in mind the level of demand among the locals and the rich history of gambling of this unique province. Furthermore, indigenous people managed to make this history bright and unique.

Development of Casino Gambling in Saskatchewan

Have you already heard about the White Bear First Nations Casino that was launched by Bernie Shepherd in Saskatchewan? It’s the first real casino of the indigenous people. It was the first case when indigenous people decided to eliminate the monopoly of the local authorities in the field of gambling. The thing is the indigenous people always considered the games of fortune their legal right (read more information about the monopoly in the province and the casino of the indigenous people).

Despite the fact that the White Bear First Nations Casino was closed and considered illegal really soon after the official opening, this event became an important event on the path of gambling development in the reservations of indigenous people in Canada. At the same time, Saskatchewan managed to become one of the most efficient and open places for the gambling of indigenous people in Canada. As a result, the province hosts 7 different casinos, which are fully licensed and controlled by indigenous people (at the same time, there are only 2 state casinos located in the province and managed by a state-owned corporation).

It’s worth noting that the local world of gambling never stops the process of development: recently, on December 2018, new Gold Horse was officially launched in the province in the city of Lloydminster.

However, the key trend is taken by the field of online gambling that develops with the highest speed, thus becoming one of the most popular sectors in Saskatchewan. And we are not talking about the Northern Bear Casino. These days, people are able to use hundreds of websites with amazing games and large prizes from all around the world.

So, why does the field of online gambling becomes more and more popular despite a huge number of traditional casinos in Saskatchewan? The reason is hidden in the fact that online gambling has a lot of advantages and can be used by people with virtually any budget. More information about the casinos in the province and other interesting facts can be found in our detailed guide.

Key Information about Gambling in the Province

Available casinos: both traditional (nine) and online casinos are offered to the players.

Key laws in the field of gambling:

  • The Alcohol and Gaming Regulation Act 1997 is the key law that defines the basic gambling rules in the province; in fact, it gives a detailed description of gambling itself, as well as regulates the process of license issuing and other regulations; furthermore, it contains requirements for both players and operators of gambling websites, as well as possible violations and charges.
  • Licensing Agreements – these are different agreements between the government of Saskatchewan and the authorities of indigenous people (FSIN and IGR); these agreements define the rights and the obligations of the control body created by the indigenous people (IGR) in order to control the field of gambling in reservations; they also define the process of licensing and the basic rules of the gambling events and activities in reservations.
  • Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation Act – defines the key rules for the Saskatchewan gaming corporation (SaskGaming).
  • The Criminal Code of Canada is the basic federal law in the field of gambling and games of fortune. It defines all the limitations, which have to be observed by the local authorities during the process of local acts creation. Article 207 is the most important one because it contains the full list of gambling types allowed in Canada.

Regulating authorities:

  • Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is a local regulating authority that controls, oversees and regulates the following field in the province: a) field of gambling, including all the electronic games, charitable events, and horse races, as well as the process of registration of suppliers and companies working in the field of gambling; b) the field of alcohol manufacturing and distribution.
  • Indigenous Gaming Regulators (IGR) – is an entity created by the Federation of indigenous people (FSIN) in order to control and license all activities in the field of gambling, bingos, breakopens, raffles, texas hold’em tournaments and Monte Carlo events.
  • SaskGaming is a provincial Crown Corporation intended to operate Regina and Moose Jaw casinos.
  • Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) – it’s a non-commercial organization created by FSIN in order to operate seven First Nations casinos in reservations.

Minimum age of the players: 19 years.

Available types of gambling: traditional casino games (roulette, blackjack), bingo, raffles, breakopens, Monte Carlo events, Texas hold’em poker, Electronic Gaming Machines (Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) and Casino Slot Machines). It’s worth noting that all of them can be found as in traditional, as well as in online casinos. Furthermore, one can enjoy horse racing and charitable gambling (lotteries and bingo).

Applicable taxes: no taxation (except professional gamblers).

Help and Support Services for Players

History of Gambling in Saskatchewan

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Online Gambling in the Province

What is the purpose of online gambling, when one can go to a casino? Everything depends on your personal needs and habits. Traditional casinos have their own advantages. You can spend a qualitative time there, simply relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere. At the same time, the field of online gambling has its own benefits and perks:

  • It can be used here and now, while traditional casinos are scattered all around Saskatchewan, thus you need to find some time and money to get there. One can go to an online casino right in the comfortable conditions of their home, or even while going to the office or traveling. You are not linked to a single place.
  • It can be used as at night as well as during the day, while traditional casinos work according to their schedule (they will be closed after 2, 3 or even 4 am). In case of online gambling, you are not limited in time: you can play as in the morning, while having a cup of coffee, as well as in the evening, right before going to bed.
  • It offers you a virtually unlimited number of games of fortune; you can easily find the most popular games in the field of gambling; you will be limited only with the imagination of the game developers.
  • Convenient depositing and withdrawal systems: you can use the most convenient forms of electronic payments (Visa, MasterCard, eWallets, prepaid cards and so on). The owners of the cryptocurrency are able to use the wide range of foreign casinos, which support payments in BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies. (read more information about it here)

Key Platforms in Canada

In 2012, the first and the last localized online casino was launched in Saskatchewan. It’s called the Northern Bear Casino. As in case with the White Bear First Nations Casino, the Northern Bear Casino was launched by Bernie Shepherd. It had no official licenses and approvals from the local authorities of Saskatchewan and indigenous people.

This casino offered the most traditional set of games: table games, slot machines, poker, betting, and several other games; it was officially licensed in Curacao. In 2014, the casino had to be closed (as a result of serious financial problems).

Since that time, the province never launched any other official online casino in the region. Local players are only able to use the Canadian SportSelect project that offers a betting system that works according to the sport draft rules.

International Online Gambling: Foreign Casinos

It’s worth noting that local players are not limited only with the local websites and portals. They are able to use the most modern and innovative international projects from all around the world.

What are they? International online casinos are special websites controlled by the companies officially registered in one of the countries of the world. In fact, there are three main types of jurisdictions these days: offshore (e.g. Curacao, Isle of Men, Gibraltar and Costa Rica), European (e.g. Great Britain and Malta), and Kahnawake.

Is it really legal? Yes, sure! By playing at foreign online casinos, you will break no rules because there are no limitations or prohibitions imposed for now. At the same time, the field of online gambling is still in a gray zone of Canadian legislation. There are no official approvals or bans imposed by the government for now. One can be told for sure: online casinos are not blocked or banned in Canada, thus local authorities have no plans to limit access to them (more information about the gambling in Canada and the legal status of online casinos can be found here.

Is it safe to participate in such a gambling activity? Yes, it is. However, you need to choose only the most reliable websites, while offering the same level of security as the most popular traditional casinos. In order to choose a reliable option, one needs to look not only at the amounts of prizes and bonuses but at the safety and security features of online casinos. We have already discussed all of them in our short guide that will help to choose the most reliable online casino or a gambling website. These are the basic parameters. They can be used in any country and region. By using our tips, you can find the most trustworthy and reliable casinos, while eliminating the shadiest of them.

Traditional Casinos in the Province

  • Casino Regina (since January 1996 – controlled by SLGA and operated by SaskGaming): 1880 Saskatchewan Drive, Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 0B2.
  • Casino Moose Jaw (since September 2002 – controlled by SLGA and operated by SaskGaming): 21 Fairford Street East, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan S6H 0C8.
  • Gold Eagle (open in North Battleford since 1996 – controlled by IGR and operated by SIGA): 11902 Railway Avenue, North Battleford, SK, S9A 3K7.
  • Northern Lights (open in Prince Albert since March 1996 – controlled by IGR and operated by SIGA): 44 Marquis Road, Prince Albert SK, S6V 7Y5.
  • Bear Claw Casino (opened in White Bear First Nation since 1996 – controlled by IGR and operated by SIGA): Highway 9,White Bear First Nation,Carlyle, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0C ORO.
  • Painted Hand (open in Yorkton since 1996 – controlled by IGR and operated by SIGA): 510 Broadway Street West, Yorkton, SK Canada, S3N 0P3.
  • Dakota Dunes (open in the Whitecap Dakota First Nation since August 2007 – controlled by IGR and operated by SIGA): 204 Dakota Dunes Way, Whitecap, SK, Canada, S7K 2L2.
  • Living Sky (open in Swift Current since December 2008 – controlled by IGR and operated by SIGA): 1401 North Service Road East, Swift Current, SK, S9H 3X6.
  • Gold Horse (open in Lloydminster since December 2018 – controlled by IGR and operated by SIGA): 3910 41st Street, Lloydminster, SK, Canada, S9V 2K8.
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Key Facts about the Province

  • Capital: Regina, while Saskatoon is the largest city (more than 250 thousand people).
  • The date of formation: September 1, 1905 (divided from the Northwest Territories).
  • Total area: 651 900 km2.
  • The population of the province: 1 098 352 people (source). It’s really interesting that a huge number of ethnic Germans are living here (around 300 thousand), while the majority of locals consider themselves ethnic Europeans (and not British), Ukrainians (around 143 thousand people) or descendants of the people from the Northern Europe (around 115 thousand people). This happened as a result of a policy implemented by local authorities at the end of the 19th century when they used so-called block settlement in order to move different nations to the region of Saskatchewan.
  • Main language: English (more than 97% of locals use it).
  • The largest towns and villages are located in the southern part of the province.
  • The climate in the province: seasonal inland climate with temperatures ranging from +40°C in the summer and -50°C in the winter. As a result of such cold weather, the word Saskatoon is used to describe extremely cold weather.
  • The most interesting places to visit: Grasslands National Park and Prince Albert National Park,Provincial parks, Table Mountain Regional, Athabasca Lake. You can use Tourism Saskatchewan in order to find more places to visit in the province.
  • Transportation in the province: More information about the transportation in Saskatchewan, as well as the most popular routes, can be found in a special section of the official website of the local government.

About the author

James Taylor

James Taylor

James Taylor is the chief editor of CasinoNow Canada Portal. This is the professional name of our bilingual go-to guy who adds value to all our work. He has been working as editor-in-chief at CasionNow Canada since 2018. Previously, he studied at the University of Quebec in Montreal and worked in market research companies.

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