February 8, 2023 3 min read


SIGA’s PlayNow Records Impressive Revenues, Sparking Gambling Harm Concerns

Former problem gamblers believe that the popularity of SIGA’s new iGaming website may increase harm in spite of the site’s safeguards

In November, PlayNow.com, an iGaming website owned by the British Colombia Lottery Corporation, was launched in Western Canada. This launch followed an agreement between its parent company and the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA). The site thus became the province’s first online gaming website.

According to the latest data, the launch of iGaming in Western Canada has been a resounding success. Professor Garragh McGee from the University of Bath said that the site has so far earned a stellar $23.8 million (converted to USD), which is a surprisingly high figure. He said that the number exceeded even his most optimistic predictions.

However, McGee warned that the high interest in online gambling content may lead to a spike in gambling harm rates. He noted that young men tend to get addicted to sports bets more easily. To make matters worse, the stigma surrounding addiction often causes people to hide their problem gambling until their behavior spirals out of all control.

Realizing the importance of safer gambling, the SIGA and PlayNow remain committed to protecting players. Some, however, believe that more can be done. McGee, for example, is an advocate for further research into problem gambling prevention.

PlayNow Offers Safeguards Unlike Its Unlicensed Competitors

Despite the dangers associated with online sports betting, SIGA’s iGaming sports and production specialist, Ben Whiting, argues that a legal site is preferable to letting players wager with offshore websites.

Whiting noted that PlayNow has built-in safer gambling tools and 24/7 support – things that many black market sites do not. As a result, PlayNow customers can always get the help they need to get their habits under control.

Not only can people find help from the site’s support but they are also protected by the site’s mandatory weekly deposit limits and other tools they can use to self-moderate their behavior. Whiting concluded that SIGA is committed to making gambling fun and healthy for its customers.

Sadly, the Safeguards Might Not Be Enough

Despite all the efforts to protect customers, many remain disgruntled by the ludicrous amounts of gambling ads that have been broadcast on TV ever since single-event sports betting was legalized in the country. Decades ago, Joe owed $250,000 following a compulsive gambling spree. He has since recovered but remains wary of the dangers of gambling harm.

In an interview with CBC, Jim, a former gambling addict said that he and many others have been disgusted by the new ads. He noted that he has seen people lose homes and marriages to gambling and shudders to imagine the same happening to more people.

Nowadays, Jim and other anti-gambling activists are finding themselves unable to watch a regular TV show without being bombarded by ads.

If sites would spend as much money providing help that they spend on advertising I think that would go a long way.

Jim, former addict

Jim lambasted the industry for its focus on advertisement and refusal to showcase the people it harmed. He, furthermore, believes that the current safeguards might not be enough to protect everyone.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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