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Saskatchewan could get online poker as early as December

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Saskatchewan could get online poker as early as December

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Once poker is launched on our platform, we will be part of the network Saskatchewan will join three other Canadian provinces in a multi-jurisdictional pact for online poker in December, fuse poker has learned.

In an exclusive, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) set a deadline when PlayNow, an online gambling platform developed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), will add online poker to Saskatchewan.

“Poker is expected to launch in the next phase, potentially in December,” said Alanna Adamko, SIGA’s director of communications and media relations. fuse poker Friday.

PlayNow is going to live in the provinces for online casino games and sports betting on November 3, Poker Industry PRO reported last week.

Saskatchewan will become PRC Member

Once online poker is added to the PlayNow platform in Saskatchewan, the province will become a member of the Canada Poker Network (PRC), an informal interprovincial pact that currently includes British Columbia (BC), Manitoba and Quebec.

The three provinces of PRC share their player pools and enjoy shared cash. Saskatchewan will join them.

Once poker is launched on our platform, we will be part of the network“said Adamko.

PRC was formed in February 2011 and is powered by an outdated version of IGT Software. The network started when BCLC began offering peer-to-peer poker at Espace Jeux, an online gaming site operated by Loto-Québec. British Columbia and Manitoba share the cash, and players in both provinces use PlayNow to access the network.

Canadian Poker Network Details

Province poker website BCLC Partner Release date
British Columbia play now N / A october 2004
Manitoba play now MBLL 1 January 2013
Quebec Games area Loto Quebec February 2011
Saskatchewan play now SIGA 2 December 2022 3

Remarks: (1) MBLL = Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation, (2) SIGA = Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, (3) Estimated launch date

A small province could have a big impact on the network

An agreement between the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation (aka SaskGaming) in September 2021 donated SIGA authority to operate PlayNow in the province.

SaskGaming is a Crown corporation owned by the provincial government. Meanwhile, SIGA operates seven tribal casinos in Saskatchewan.

SIGA has entered into a supplier agreement with the BCLC in June 2021. The agreement provided SIGA to operate a custom PlayNow skin for online casino gaming and sports betting in the province, and when launched on November 3, it will be the only legally regulated site for both verticals.

The seller’s agreement also provided for the BCLC to provide online poker on the PlayNow platform.

According to Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan will be the least populated province in the PRC. It has 1.1 million inhabitants, of which 840,000 are aged 20 and over. Saskatchewan will only represent about 7% of the total gambling pact population (16 million) or people aged 20 and over (12.6 million).

But the population metric doesn’t tell the whole story. Data from the Saskatchewan Problem Gambling Helpline (SPGH) show that Saskatchewan people love to gamble. According to SPGHSaskatchewanians aged 18 and older spend on average BODY $799 per year at government-regulated gaming sites — the highest rate in all of Canada. The Canadian average is BODY $535 per adult in comparison.

Bringing this to a regulated platform that offers multi-province online poker could attract a lot of players.

Could Ontario also join the network?

This influx would certainly be welcome: data from GameIntelavailable on the PRO Data platform, show PRC averaged 188 concurrent cash game seats in 2021, but that figure has dropped to 158 this year to date. It is now overshadowed by Ontario’s new online poker market, which opened its doors to commercial ventures earlier this year.

And there is still a chance that an Ontario operator will join the Canada Poker Network. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Crown Corporation (OLG) launched online gambling in 2015 and said at the time that he planned to launch poker on CPN.

Ontario Regulated Online Poker Rooms

Operator AGCO Licence? iGO authorized? Launch status
888poker Yes Yes Launched April 4
BetMGM Yes Yes Launched April 5
partypoker Yes Yes Launched April 12
bwin Yes Yes Launched April 12
PokerStars Yes Yes Launched June 28
GGPoker/WSOP Yes Yes Launched September 30

It never materialized, but the option remains. Despite all the foreign competition, OLG continues to offer its competing online platform offering sports, casino and lottery products to Ontarians.

In July of this year, PRO was told by a OLG spokesperson that he”[continues] to look at the best way to offer poker games to our customers”, but added, “at this stage, we have nothing to announce.”

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Whether OLG were to expand into poker, it would be a fascinating addition to an already bustling market. There are currently four online poker rooms, and one of them, BetMGM, also hosts two sister skins on its network, bwin and partypoker.

There could be a fifth addition coming this year, with various possible brands merging around an iPoker Ontario network, including Betsafe, Bet365, Coolbet and NorthStar, all potentially interested.

It would already look like a pretty saturated market, but OLG would be a unique proposition: The only online poker room that connects with networks in other provinces. With Saskatchewan and Ontario connected to PRCit would create a five-province network reaching nearly 24 million Canadian residents.

Hypothetical Canada Poker Network (includes Ontario)

Province poker website Vendor Population aged 20 and over 1
British Columbia play now BCLC 4 million
Manitoba play now MBLL 2 1 million
Ontario PlayOLG OLG 11.1 million
Quebec Games area Loto Quebec 6.7 million
Saskatchewan play now SIGA 3 840 875
TOTAL 23.7 million