Saskatchewan is reportedly Canada’s number one province when it comes to gambling. According to Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan residents spend more on gambling than players in any other Canadian province. Naturally, we can assume that Saskatchewan has liberal gambling laws compared to other regions in Canada, right? No, they do not. Saskatchewan has relatively the same gambling laws as other Canadian provinces; they just like to gamble more frequently. How does this impact the gambling world for players living Saskatchewan, and what can they bet on? It is time we found out…
Is Gambling Legal in Saskatchewan?
Canada’s Criminal Code ensures that gambling enterprises are only legal in one province. Inter-provincial gambling is not allowed, and even when gambling is permitted, it is only legal if that province has laws which make it so. Saskatchewan has those laws. The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority has jurisdiction of First Nations casino gaming, while the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority generally runs the rules of all gambling enterprises, including the licensing and regulation of legal games.
Here is what you can and cannot bet on in Saskatchewan:
Bingo Games: Bingo is considered a non-profit gambling game in Saskatchewan. Also known as a charitable gambling game (alongside raffles), these games still require a license from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.
Casino Games: There are eight casinos in Saskatchewan. Six of these are run by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, with a further two operated by the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, which is itself under the yoke of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority. Gameplay in any of these land-based venues is legal.
Horse Racing: A total of three horse racing tracks exist in Saskatchewan. Having a bet on the races at any of these land-based venues in legal. You can also make bets via a few off-track vendors, but there are not too many of these to choose from.
Lottery Games: Lottery games in Saskatchewan are run by Saskatchewan Lotteries. Lotteries have been legal since 1974 with tickets available in all licensed outlets.
Sports Betting: Sports betting is permitted in Saskatchewan, but only parlay betting. You can expect to find bets on a variety of markets, although there is a maximum wager cap of $100, and a few other rules and regulations which are worth looking into if you wish to bet on sports in the province.
What About Online Gambling?
Thus far, you have seen that Saskatchewan is relatively level-headed when it comes to gambling. However, all the gambling games we have discussed above are land-based, such as brick-and-mortar casino and sports betting options. It is a quite different situation when we look at online betting.
Online casino gambling is not permitted in Saskatchewan. There are precious few options open to you if you fancy your chances wagering online. Fortunately, while Saskatchewan does not permit internet betting, they do not seem too bothered about allowing Canadians the freedom to wager money at offshore gambling sites. As mentioned, Saskatchewan is the Canadian province where gambling is most popular, so visiting offshore casinos is obviously something residents of Saskatchewan like to do.
Licensed Betting Sites
There are no legal online casinos for players in Saskatchewan to play at. There have been talks about getting this industry up and running, but nothing has come to fruition thus far. Ultimately, it means that if a resident of Saskatchewan wishes to bet online, they are going to have to do so via an international, offshore, or foreign casino.
Offshore Betting Sites
Foreign casinos are not legal in Saskatchewan. However, they are not illegal, either. The Criminal Code of Canada provides a somewhat handy loophole or a grey-area for bettors. The Criminal Code says little about digital gambling but can generally be read as saying that Canadian gambling enterprises can only offer gambling services to players in their province. For instance, a player in British Columbia can wager at an online betting site which is legal there, but not at an online casino licensed in Saskatchewan. The law does not mention offshore sites in the slightest.
Examples of offshore betting sites include:
- Online casinos
- Bingo rooms
- Poker rooms
- Online sportsbooks
- International lottery ticket sites, and more
Because of the grey-zone, many players in Saskatchewan are free to bet at foreign casinos. Any top casinos which are licensed outside of Canada do not break the Canadian Criminal Code, and Saskatchewan, therefore, has no punishments in place for those players. This is a great tool and something many residents of Saskatchewan use to bet online. Again, there have been musings about doing something about it, but most people in Saskatchewan are happy to keep to the status quo for now.
Should I Play at Internet Betting Sites in Saskatchewan?
If you are worried about getting into trouble for playing at a foreign casino if you are based out of Saskatchewan, you need not worry. The Canadian province does not implement punishments for its residents doing this. Because of that, there are quite literally hundreds of online casinos and sports betting sites that you can choose to join and play at.
Many of these international and external casinos will offer CAD as a currency option, and they will also provide Canadian payment methods, as well as support options to players in Saskatchewan. These sites should also be mobile-friendly, promote responsible gambling, be licensed, and regulated, and treat players in Saskatchewan no differently than they would if they lived in another region or country.
As mentioned, there are hundreds of these sites available online, all ready and willing to accept players from Saskatchewan without the need for a VPN (virtual private network). However, you still need to ensure that you are playing at a safe and secure casino. Any of the online casinos represented here on this page have been checked and approved for gameplay by residents of Saskatchewan. They make for an ideal starting point if you wish to bet online in this Canadian province.