Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority commits to online gambling

The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority will be launching an online gambling portal in 2022. Next year’s launch will mark the first foray into online gambling by Canadian tribal gaming interests and is set to provide both casino play and regulated sports betting to residents of Saskatchewan. 

Though committing to a business expansion through an online portal doesn’t sound like that big a deal, it definitely takes some significant legal wrangling. In this case, the wrangling came in the form of amendments to the Gaming Framework Agreement; the legal authority under which the 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan currently operate their land-based casinos under. 

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron commented on the deal in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation saying, “A lot of work went into this, we have ventured on for the last many days, weeks, months and years to get to this point. This obviously is going to be a positive benefit to our 74 First Nations communities. Saskatchewan Gaming Authority is leading the way for gaming on First Nation country.… This is reconciliation at its finest.”

Cameron was also pleased that a good chunk of that online gaming revenue will stay within the tribes. Under the terms of the deal, half of gaming revenue will go to the tribes, while the other half goes to the tribes. 

SIGA chair Chief Reginald Bellerose added that COVID has put additional funding pressures on tribes and that the new online gaming funds would be put to good use saying, “I’m proud of the benefits that go back to the First Nations. There is a great demand for that revenue.”