The province of Saskatchewan is all about large, open spaces, giving a lot of reason to just calm down and relax. The province of Saskatchewan is pretty much of the same size as its neighbours Manitoba and Alberta, and shares borders with the isolated Northwest Territories. To the south you’ll find the American states of both Montana and North Dakota. Saskatchewan itself is very sparsely populated, just like its neighbours, with only 1,160,000 people occupying the available 591,670 square kilometers of land.
Nevertheless, Saskatchewan offers more First Nation casinos by ratio than any other province in the country. There are several gambling facilities located across the province, but most of them are to be found in the southern part below Prince Albert. As there are still VLT other lottery options for the upper portion of the province you will be able to gamble anywhere in Saskatchewan. Today’s focus, however, will be on the land based casinos in Saskatchewan.
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Gambling in the region
In line with other provinces and territories, you will find across Canada, Saskatchewan is largely autonomous when it comes to their gambling law. Provinces in Canada have had the freedom to offer casino products since 1985, but unlike British Columbia, local gambling authorities are a bit less involved in offering casinos in Saskatchewan. Nonetheless, there are two acts that focus on gambling products: the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation Act of 1994 and the First Nations Gaming Act of 1995.
The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) oversees the casinos offered by SaskGaming and First Nation (SIGA). There are 9 casinos in the province, including 7 First Nations casinos, which are the fruit of an agreement between the provincial government and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, also known as FSIN. The FSIN formed SIGA to operate the casinos in Saskatchewan. SIGA is responsible for the following casinos:
- Gold Eagle Casino in North Battleford.
- Northern Lights Casino in Prince Albert.
- Painted Hand Casino in Yorkton.
- Bear Claw Casino on the White Bear First Nation near Carlyle.
- Dakota Dunes Casino on the Whitecap.
- Whitecap Dakota/Sû First Nation: south of Saskatoon.
- Living Sky Casino in Swift Current.
- Gold Horse Casino in Lloydminster.
Land based Casinos in Saskatchewan
Regina is the capital of Saskatoon with about 20% of all Saskatchewanians residing in this city. The nearest casino to the metro area of the capital city is Dakota Dunes Casino, which you’ll find at about a 20 minutes drive south of Saskatoon at the Whitecap First Nation. Most of the casinos in this province are property of either First Nation or Tribal casinos. Throughout the province 6 casinos are managed by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) and two are both owned and operated by SaskGaming. This organisation operates Casino Regina and launched a second casino, Casino Moose Jaw, back in 2002. Although all casinos have their own charm, there are in fact a few that stick out. These are:
1. Living Sky Casino
Living Sky Casino is very well located along Highway 1 in the small city (16,000 inhabitants) of Swift Current and is definitely Southwest Saskatchewan’s most exciting gambling destination. With a nice range of casino games, great dining options and high-class entertainment, Living Sky Casino makes sure every visitor will live it up when exiting the highway to visit this amazing casino. Apart from a broad range of slots and interactive table games, Living Sky Casino offers a Horizons Restaurant and the so-called Sky Centre, which is a multi-functional venue available for all types of events.There’s definitely something for everyone visiting Living Sky Casino.
2. Northern Lights Casino
Northern Lights Casino is located in Prince Albert and houses a 42,000 square foot gambling facility, including a complete casino with 590 slots and 11 table games, a fancy lounge, and a nice restaurant. The casino was first opened in 1996 and was expanded with a 4,500 square foot in 2011, providing visitors with a smoking room and 203 additional slots (already included in the number mentioned above). Northern Lights Casino is one of the many native American casinos to be found in Canada and is open everyday. The casino property also has a hotel for visitors who would like to add just a little bit more comfort to their casino experience.
3. Gold Eagle Casino
This casino is located in North Battleford which you’ll find along the Yellowhead Highway. The casino is now a popular stop for both residents and visitors ever since it opened back in 1996. First Nations gives its visitors a thrilling First Nations entertainment experience including a complete gambling floor, bar, restaurant and entertainment site. You can’t miss out on the Kihiw Restaurant where you’ll find an extensive menu and a mystical ambiance thanks to all the Aboriginal art exposed in this colourful establishment. Whether you want to enjoy the dinner menu, a live music show, or make a wager: Gold Eagle Casino makes sure you feel welcome once you step inside.
4. Painted Hand Casino
This is also a First Nations establishment located in the city centre of Yorkton, about 300 km’s south-east of Saskatoon. If you make it to this casino you’ll be surrounded by an amazing collection of ndigenous art leading to a very special experience you won’t easily find in other places in Canada. The largest casino of the city is considered east central Saskatchewan’s number one spot for gambling fun and other forms of entertainment. Strategically located along Broadway Street, this gambling facility is located close to two important highways, partially explaining why there are more than 300,000 visitors per year. Next door you will find the Home Inn and Suites offering both rooms and suites, a 24 hour gym and with a special Stay and Play Package you’ll get a lot of benefits for the casino and all of its amenities. If you want to bring the whole family we are happy to inform you that on the same grounds as the casino and hotel, you will also find the Gallagher Centre, a leisure centre with a water park. The casino itself Painted Hand Casino houses over 200 slots and 7 live gaming tables. Do note that there is no live poker available at this gambling facility.
5. Casino Regina
The Saskatchewan Drive in Regina is home to Casino Regina which moved into the city’s former union station, which is a typical Tyndall and ashlar stone structure that was completed in 1912. The old railway police jail cells in this historical building’s basement were once used for transporting prisoners via underground passages stretching several streets east of the casino. These tunnels were destroyed to be able to construct today’s Cornwall Centre, a big shopping centre, close to the casino. A large portion of the rest of the building was used to house a casino with 800 slots, 35 table games, and a 9-table poker room. The 800-seat Show Lounge features entertainment, restaurants, a special CPR Lounge and a VIP Lounge. The full range of entertainment options explains why Casino Regina is a very important employer in this small city — employing 664 people, of whom more than 50% are Aboriginal.
Online gambling in Saskatchewan
Both people living and visiting the province of Saskatchewan are free to play at any online casino website they choose to visit. At present, foreign online casinos aren’t required to have a provincial or federal licence in order to offer their services in this part of Canada. Something to note as well is that winnings made in online casinos aren’t taxed in the province of Saskatchewan, meaning that players here have an important incentive to play online instead of offline. People living in Saskatchewan can buy online lottery subscriptions, but can’t participate in BC’s PlayNow online lotteries even though residents of Manitoba can.
Before you engage in online gamblin, we do need to point out that you would be most likely playing in a foreign online casino that may not offer the same level of consumer protection to its visitors as a Canadian based casino would do. It is therefore very important that you know more about the online operator and the company behind the casino website, before you start playing for money and make your first deposit. We do expect the Canadian online gambling market to open up more and more, but in the meantime we ask you to always be alert.