Saskatchewan Folds on Online Gambling

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In recent news, the Saskatchewan government has decided they will not be embarking into any online gambling initiatives. Unlike other provinces like Quebec, British Columbia and the Maritimes who are already operational online and with Manitoba and Ontario expected to roll out their online gambling initiatives in the coming year, Saskatchewan’s minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, Donna Harpauer said that the government has decided not to get involved.

Apparently the risk outweighs the rewards associated with such a move and there wasn’t a justifiable business case to get involved at this time.

Contrary to the Province’s lack of initiative, an online gambling site was undertaken by a former First Nation chief, Bernie Shepherd, of the White Bear First Nation.

Shepherd has moved to create an online casino, Northern Bear Casino, apparently without the support of Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) or the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN). Currently SIGA and FSIN are unable to take part in online casino ventures due to their agreement with the provincial government.

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations said last year that $30 million was leaving Saskatchewan through gambling sites offered by other provinces and that it  was time for the government to talk about expanding into the online gaming business.

Harpauer said it’s her understanding that Shepherd’s proposed gaming site does not involve the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, which was created by the federation to operate casinos across the province.

Recently, the Saskatchewan Government has asked the RCMP to investigate this online gambling site.

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