he Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and the Saskatchewan government signed on Thursday an amendment to create a legal framework for a new online gaming site, to be operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA).
The amendment to the Gaming Framework Agreement (GFA) also establishes a revenue-sharing arrangement between the two parties, marking a 50/50 revenue split between FSIN and the Province.
Moreover, SIGA has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation (SaskGaming), which establishes the general terms of SIGA operating and SaskGaming managing the new site, which will feature both online casino games and sports betting. The site is anticipated to launch in 2022.
“This will bring in new revenue opportunities that will benefit our 74 First Nations communities,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “Even during the challenging COVID pandemic, we are continuing to work hard to bring positive outcomes for our First Nations.” He further called the agreement “historic” and the first of its kind not only in Saskatchewan, “but in Canada.”
SIGA currently operates seven physical casinos in Saskatchewan as part of the Gaming Framework Agreement. A non-profit organization, all profits from SIGA’s casino operations go to local First Nation communities with the mission to strengthen their lives through employment, economic growth and positive community relations.
“This is an important day for SIGA, as we continue to evolve with a changing gaming industry, and in our delivery of entertainment options for our customers,” said SIGA Chair Chief Reginald Bellerose. “The additional revenue opportunities from online gaming and sports betting will only increase SIGA’s ability as a non-profit.”
The new online gaming site is set to be a “safe, regulated and secure” platform that will fall under existing responsible gambling practices, according to Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskGaming. The site will have measures and resources in place “to support players and protect privacy” while also contributing to the economic wellbeing of Saskatchewan.
“The Province and FSIN have had a long and successful history as partners in casino gaming,” said Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, Minister Jim Reiter, pleased with the agreement. “Over the years, SIGA has earned their reputation as a top-quality gaming organization and we’re excited to move forward with them on this new venture.”
The contract calls for five years of exclusivity for SIGA to operate the site, which is set to submit a request for proposal out to the public, according to Global News. A joint adjudication process will take place to determine the successful applicant for the project.