The gambling industry has changed a lot from the early days of legalization back in 1969. The industry continued to evolve until 1985, when all provinces were granted the legal right to develop their gaming industries as they saw fit. Between 1985 and 1992, many legislative changes were made and gambling in Saskatchewan started to become more readily available. Temporary casinos, open only on select days and for limited hours, slowly became a thing of the past, ushering in the first wave of permanent Saskatchewan casinos in 1996.
|We’ve actually done a video series covering a lot of the history around gambling in Saskatchewan. If you’re interested you can check out the series here:
There are now multiple agencies that oversee the various aspects of Saskatchewan’s gambling industry. This article will give you a bit more of an idea of how Saskatchewan organizes and legislates its gambling industry.
To Start, The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health is the ministry responsible for coordinating the province’s prevention, education, and treatment options for problem gambling, among many other services. To learn more, you can look at the Government’s “Problem Gambling Help Line” webpage, or you can also check out the “Saskatchewan Health Authority” page.
The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority or SLGA oversees Casino Moose Jaw, Casino Regina, horse racing (Marquis Downs Racetrack in Saskatoon), and all charitable gaming in the province. Charitable gaming would include things like licensing raffles, 50/50 ticket draws, chase the ace draws, etc. SLGA also contracts with Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) to operate the VLT Program. The SLGA is a Treasury Board Crown Corporation.
Sask Sports Inc.is a non-profit organization governed by a voluntary board of directors. Sask Sports has operated Saskatchewan Lotteries since 1974. Saskatchewan Lotteries operates the provinces scratch and win tickets, sports selects, and keno. Saskatchewan Lotteries is the marketing organization for Western Canada Lottery Corporation. WCLC is then part of the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation (ILC), who is responsible for managing and conducting Canada’s national lotteries.
The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority or SIGA was established by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations or FSIN in 1995 under the First Nations Gaming Act, and currently operates 7 First Nations gaming establishments: Bear Claw Casino north of Carlyle, Dakota Dunes Casino south of Saskatoon, Gold Eagle Casino in North Battleford, Living Sky Casino in Swift Current, Northern Lights Casino in Prince Albert, Painted Hand Casino in Yorkton, and as of December 2018, Gold Horse Casino in Lloydminster.
Currently, Saskatchewan does not operate any online gambling websites. However, there are many online gambling options and players choose to use those options at their own risk. Online providers are not “legal” since SLGA has not given these sites permits to operate in Saskatchewan. These websites may not offer the types of player protections like voluntary self-exclusions that would be required of legal gaming operators. However, there is little ability to block these sites, so they are still readily available.