The province of Saskatchewan is home to over a million residents. While it is one of the least populated Canadian provinces, Saskatchewan hosts many casinos and gambling houses.
Saskatchewan gambling laws have had some turbulent changes in the last 30 years or so. Before 1990, the only legal forms of gambling in the province were lottery games and pari-mutuel horse race betting.
As the Canadian Criminal Code went through some changes, Saskatchewan and other provinces were given the right to establish their gambling laws and regulations.
In this article, we will look at the current gambling laws in Saskatchewan and list some of the biggest and most popular casinos, while also talking about lotteries, bingo halls, sports betting, live poker and more. More importantly, we will tackle whether online gambling in the province is legal.
The online gambling laws in Saskatchewan (and the whole of Canada) are somewhat ambiguous.
The only fully recognised and legal form of online gambling in the province is the online lottery. All other forms of gambling, such as online casinos, sportsbooks, poker sites and others, are technically illegal.
We need to underline the word technically here because online gambling laws in SK fall into a so-called grey area. This means that online gambling is neither legal nor illegal.
Unfortunately, Saskatchewan doesn’t have an official gambling website like, for example, British Columbia (PlayNow).
Unlike online gambling, land-based gambling in Saskatchewan shows a clear picture of what is legal and what is illegal. There are several land-based casinos in the province that are completely legal and welcome everybody over the age of 19.
So, if you are from Saskatchewan or are looking to spend some time in the province, here are some of the best casinos that you can visit.
Occupying the building of Regina’s old Union Station built in 1912, Casino Regina is one of the classiest gambling establishments in the province. The casino features over 1,000 brand new video slot machines, some of which come with progressive jackpots, including IGT’s Powerbucks, designed to deliver million-dollar payouts.
Apart from slots, Casino Regina has over 30 tables, and a dedicated poker room with Texas Hold’em and Omaha cash games and tournaments.
Dakota Dunes is one of the First Nation casinos in Saskatchewan. Many of the casino’s slot machines are equipped with progressive jackpots that pay anywhere between $100,000 and $2 million. Table games include several blackjack variations, baccarat, roulette and poker, and all those games can also be played at electronic tables.
While there’s no poker room, Dakota Dunes has a special high-limit room where players can raise stakes on several blackjack and baccarat tables.
Appropriately named, Northern Lights Casino is one of the northernmost gambling facilities in the whole of Canada. Despite being so remote, this casino is equipped with the latest slot machines and electronic tables. Apart from a huge collection of video slots, Northern Lights Casino guests can enjoy several blackjack and poker tables, as well as several electronic table games powered by The Circuit.
The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority operates Golden Eagle Casino. It has a solid selection of video slots with various denominations, some of which come with progressive jackpots. Other games include blackjack, roulette tables and poker, while The Circuit collection of electronic games adds baccarat and stadium poker to the mix, with the minimum bets starting at $2.
Painted Hand Casino in Yorkton offers over 250 state-of-the-art slot machines, together with a quality selection of electronic table games powered by The Circuit. Operated by the SIGA, Painted Hand is equipped with its latest progressive machines like Rider Nation and Smoke Signals that can reward players with jackpots up to $2 million.
Although most casinos in Saskatchewan offer live poker, they are usually equipped with only a couple of tables with a small selection of poker games and tournaments. Poker in SK casinos is mostly played against a dealer in variations like three card poker or in the form of video poker. Nevertheless, there are a few places where the pots are substantial and where you can test your skills against other serious players.
Casino Regina is the biggest and most popular live poker facility in Saskatchewan. Players can test their skills against others in various forms of Texas Hold’em and Omaha cash games, while the No Limit Texas Hold’em tournaments get organised weekly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
You will also have an option to book a private game with your friends and choose from limit and no limit hold’em, Omaha, spread limit and dealer’s choice. The poker room at Regina is open daily between 12 p.m. and 4 a.m.
The Moose Jaw poker room features a couple of tables where you can play Texas Hold’em and Omaha cash games and tournaments. The room is open daily from 12 p.m. to 4 a.m., while players can book their seats by calling in or registering directly at the poker room.
Northern Lights Casino is not exactly poker heaven, but it features a couple of tables where you can enjoy limit and No Limit Texas Hold’em cash games and tournaments. The tournaments are organised weekly, and the buy-ins range between $5 and $125.
Gold Eagle Casino has two poker tables featuring No Limit Texas Hold’em cash games. Players can also sign up for tournaments that are organized frequently throughout the year. All players are eligible for the bad beat jackpot that can sometimes be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Gold Horse Casino has two poker tables that run No Limit Texas Hold’em cash games with the buy-ins ranging between $50 and $2,000. The poker room is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 4 p.m. Tournaments are scheduled throughout the year, and all players can become eligible for the bad beat progressive jackpot.
Sports betting in Saskatchewan is heavily restricted. The only fully legal way to bet on sports in SK is through Sport Select, a product of the Saskatchewan Lottery. The available sports betting games include ProLine, ProLine over/under, point spread, pools and props. Punters are allowed to wager on the outcome of between two and six events. Single bets are not allowed, and the range of available sports is very limited.
Playing the lottery in Saskatchewan is perfectly legal. There are hundreds of lottery outlets scattered across the province, and the draws are conducted every week.
Saskatchewan Lotteries, a Western Canada lottery group operated by Sask Sport Inc., offers lottery games. The available games include Daily Grand, Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49, Western Max, Western 6/49, Extra, Poker Lotto, pick games and keno.
All prizes up to $100 can be automatically validated at the lottery terminal and claimed at the retailer. Prizes between $100.01 and $1,000 can be claimed at the retailer or by mail. For prizes exceeding $1,000, you should call customer care at 1-800-665-3313, and someone will give you further directions on how to pick up your winnings.
All proceeds earned from Saskatchewan Lottery games are put back into the community and help support various sectors and other provincial organisations.
While not many SK casinos offer bingo games, there are over a dozen specialised bingo halls in the province, varying in the size and the number of available games. Bingo is not available online through the Sask Lotteries website.
Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) regulates horse racing in Saskatchewan. Pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing is legal and can be enjoyed at the Marquis Downs racecourse.
Marquis Downs was opened in 1969 and is currently the only thoroughbred horse racing track in Saskatchewan. It is located in Saskatoon, in the southwest corner of the Prairieland Exhibition Grounds, and it has a capacity of 3,500. The five-furlong oval track is open every week from late May to early September, with the season consisting of 24 race days.
To understand SK’s gambling regulations today, we have to look at all the authorities in charge of running and overseeing gambling operations in the province.
First, you have the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA), which runs First Nation tribal casinos, together with the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation (Sask Gaming) that runs a couple of government-owned casinos in the province. Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority oversees both of these organisations. This governing body also regulates charitable gambling.
Saskatchewan Lottery, a subsidiary of the Western Canadian Lottery, operates lottery games.
Despite being sparsely populated, Saskatchewan has its fair share of casinos and other gambling facilities. All casinos that we listed here are legal and will accept anyone 19 or older. The most popular games in casinos are video slots, but you can also enjoy classic table games and live poker.
Bingo halls are also a fairly common occurrence in SK, and so are lottery outlets where you can buy tickets for one of several lottery games played weekly. Sports betting is allowed as well, and you can check what’s on offer on the Sport Select website.
Online gambling in Saskatchewan is illegal except for online lottery games offered by the official Sask Lotteries website.
Provincial authorities currently have no plans to follow some US states’ footsteps and legalise online gambling. The online lottery still remains the only legal form of online gambling in Saskatchewan.
The minimum gambling age in Saskatchewan is 19. Note that some casinos might ask you to present your government-issued ID before entering the casino premises.
Recreational players do not need to pay any taxes on the winnings acquired through playing casino games in Saskatchewan.