The new online gambling platform in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan – PlayNow.com – managed to generate wagers worth CA$31.8 million over the first couple of months of its operation.
After receiving the exclusive rights over the first regulated Internet platform offering online casino gaming and sports betting services, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) addressed the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), asking it for permission to design and roll out its PlayNow website at the beginning of November 2022.
According to figures provided by the SIGA, the amount of money placed as wagers on the aforementioned gambling platform has been increasing over the two months of operations. In November 2022, the PlayNow.com platform saw CA$14.8 million in bets placed, while in December 2022, that amount rose to CA$17 million. In addition, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority revealed there were a total of 8,015 registered users on the website by the end of December, which basically means that an average wager of CA$3,967 was received by the online gambling platform for every registered customer over its first two months.
Michael Bellegarde, the director of online gambling at the SIGA, explained that winnings that were bet again, as well as bonuses, promotions and free bets offered to customers, were also included in the overall amount wagered on the website. Removing those, an average of approximately CA$460 in deposits was received by the PlayNow gambling platform over the first two months of its operation for each registered customer as of December 31st, 2022.
Online Casino and Slot Machines Account for Main Part of PlayNow.Com Net Win
Under an agreement inked in 2021, 50% of the revenue generated by the PlayNow website is handed to First Nation communities, while the other 50% goes to the Saskatchewan Government.
According to information provided by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, the average deposit of registered customers’ own money in November and December last year was estimated at CA$67. An overall of 55,000 deposits amounting to CA$3.7 million were made by users over the same period. As confirmed by Mr. Bellegarde, the online gambling platform netted CA$1.6 million in November and December 2022 after users’ winnings were paid out.
As the SIGA’s online gambling director shared, most of the overall amount wagered on PlayNow.com – CA$30.6 million – came from online casino gambling, while online sports betting services accounted for CA$1.2 million. This was found surprising by Mr. Bellegarde, who had not expected to see online slots be such big of a driver for the website’s net win.
Recent research commissioned by the SIGA indicated that online sports betting across the country gets similar returns. Mr. Bellegarder explained that trend with the belief that online casino and slot machines usually come with much more social stigma than sports betting, and people seem to be more comfortable with the idea of betting on sports.
This has been confirmed by the CEO and President of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), Paul Burns, who shared that single-event sports betting normally accounts for only a small amount of the money received by online gambling platforms.