The province of Saskatchewan offers sports betting and gaming enthusiasts a number of different ways to play, including paper-based lotteries and sports betting games, land-based casinos, and thousands of VLTs located in privately-owned licensed establishments across the province.
Charitable gaming activities available in Saskatchewan include bingo, Texas Hold ’em Poker, and Monte Carlo-style events. In addition to these provincially-operated and regulated gaming options, Saskatchewan players are also taking advantage of the growing number of offshore-based online sportsbooks, poker rooms and casinos.
Gaming, lotteries and sports betting in the province are strictly controlled by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, which regulates all casino facilities, and licenses lottery retailers and VLT operators.
Gaming Laws in Saskatchewan
Gaming and sports betting activities in Saskatchewan are governed by the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Regulation Act, which was passed by the provincial legislature in 1997.
The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is responsible for most gaming in the province. The Authority owns and manages all VLTs in Saskatchewan as well as slot machines at all six First Nations casinos operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA).
The SLGA also licenses casinos, horse racing, bingo facilities, as well as raffles and breakopen (Nevada) tickets, and registers all gaming employees and suppliers.
Lottery and sports betting games in the province are operated by Saskatchewan Lotteries, the marketing organization for the Western Canada Lottery Corporation brands and products in the province. Sask Sports Inc., a non-profit organization, is licensed by the provincial government to operate Saskatchewan Lotteries as a fundraising tool for sport, culture and recreation.
Western Canada Lottery Corporation
Established in 1974, the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) is a non-profit organization that operates lottery and gaming activities on behalf of a number of Canadian provincial and territorial governments, including Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut.
Acting as a regional marketing arm of the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, which operates lottery games across Canada, the WCLC works in conjunction with Saskatchewan Lotteries to offer popular lottery games, including Lotto 649 and Lotto Max, and paper-based sports betting games, including PRO-LINE.
Sports Betting in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Lotteries currently operates sports betting games in the province of Saskatchewan under the following brand names: PRO-LINE, Point-Spread, Pro-Picks Pools and Pro-Picks Props.
PRO-LINE is an odds-based sports betting game that allows players to predict outcomes on three-to six-event parlays. All selections must be correct for the parlay to be declared a winner. The minimum wager is $2, while the maximum wager on a PRO-LINE ticket is $100.
With Point-Spread, players can predict the outcome of two to 12 sporting events, selecting a visitor or home win. Each game selected is handicapped with a point spread. Sports available to wager on include professional and college football, professional and college basketball, baseball and hockey.
Pro-Picks Pools & Props
Pro-Picks Pools is a card-based game where the player wagers on the outcome of specific game or player/team props as outlined in a Pro-Picks selection sheet. A selection sheet contains between 10 and 12 selections. The cost to play Pro-Picks Pools is $5 per selection sheet, with the player or players with the most correct selections sharing a prize pool equal to 60% of total wagers.
Pro-Picks Props is an odds-based sports betting game that allows players to parlay between three and six player/team props selections. The minimum wager is $2 and the maximum wager is $100.
No Single Team Sports Betting
Since single-team sports betting is illegal under Canada’s criminal code, SLGA, Saskatchewan Lotteries, and WCLC offer no single-team sports betting games. Saskatchewan Lotteries and WCLC’s parlay offerings also offer significantly poorer odds compared to online sportsbook options operated off-shore, with the house edge on PRO-LINE wagers pegged at a whopping 38.65% in 2011, compared with single digits for online sportsbooks.
Poker and Casino in Saskatchewan
There are currently eight land-based casinos open for business in Saskatchewan. The SLGA, through the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, operates Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw.
The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority operates six land-based casinos in partnership with a number of First Nations in the province: the Bear Claw Casino & Hotel on the White Bear First Nation in southeast Saskatchewan, Dakota Dunes Casino, located on the Whitecap First Nation, Gold Eagle Casino in North Battleford, Living Sky Casino in Swift Current, Northern Lights Casino in Prince Albert, and Painted Hand Casino in Yorkton.
As of March 2014, SLGA was operating 3960 VLTs at over 600 privately-owned licensed establishments across the province, generating over $175 million in revenue for the province.
Poker rooms are also available at Saskatchewan land-based casinos, while charitable organizations can apply for licenses to hold fundraising events at licensed facilities.
Other Gaming Options in Saskatchewan
While SLGA strictly controls gaming operations in the province of Saskatchewan, gaming and sports betting fans still enjoy many alternatives to the limited options available from the Authority, Saskatchewan Lotteries and the WCLC.
Online sportsbooks such as Bodog, Bet365 and 5Dimes have a growing customer base in Saskatchewan. Established for many years, and known for their superior customer service and the availability of a wide variety of betting options with competitive odds, the online sportsbooks represent the biggest competition to Saskatchewan’s paper-based sports betting offerings.
In addition, since they operate offshore, online sportsbooks can offer single-game betting options and more sophisticated and competitive live betting options not available to sports betting fans playing PRO-LINE, as well as betting lines that change in real time and are in line with major land-based sportsbooks in Las Vegas.
Major online sportsbooks like Bodog and Bet365 also provide players with a complete online casino experience and online poker rooms, which are not available from WCLC or SLGA-licensed operators. In addition, comprehensive coverage of horse racing is offered through many online sportsbooks, with action available both at Canadian racetracks as well as major racetracks around the world.