Special Occasion Permits
1.1 Where can I get a special occasion permit
If you are planning to serve alcohol at your wedding, cabaret or other event, you require a special occasion permit. A permit is required even if you are not charging for the alcohol. The fastest way to get your special occasion permit is to apply online. Certain types of permits require review by SLGA’s head office in Regina, including outdoor and large events.
1.2 When should I apply
All applicants for special occasion permits should apply at least 10 days in advance of the scheduled function to ensure adequate time for processing. Some times of year are busier than others for special occasion permits which may affect processing times.
1.3 Where can I buy the alcohol for my event
All alcohol served at the event must be purchased from a Saskatchewan liquor retailer. All receipts for purchased alcohol must be attached to the permit in order to make the permit valid. “Bring Your Own Alcohol” events are not allowed.
1.4 Do I need insurance for my event
While you are not required to have liability insurance, it is good practice. As the permit holder, you may be held liable should anyone at your event be injured. This includes injuries that happen during the event itself as well as related injuries that may occur after the event. For example, if a guest at the event becomes intoxicated and attempts to drive himself home, you may be held liable for any damages he causes to himself or to other people. Party Alcohol Liability Insurance is available from many Saskatchewan insurance brokers.
1.5 Who can I call to find out more information about special occasion permits
The responsible hosting guide explains the responsibilities of a host and outlines important things to consider when planning your function. You can contact SLGA’s Licensing Branch at SOP@slga.gov.sk.ca, toll free 1(800)667-7565 or (306)787-5563 in Regina.
2.6 Commercial Liquor Establishments
I am opening a restaurant and would like to serve alcohol. How do I get a permit?
Information about obtaining a commercial liquor permit, as well as the application package can be found here.
What about liquor permits for places like sports facilities, liquor delivery businesses or hair salons?
What’s the difference between social reference pricing and minimum pricing?
Social reference price refers to the minimum price alcohol can be sold for by retailers for off-site consumption. Minimum pricing refers to the minimum a single serving drink can be sold at for on-site consumption, such as at restaurants or bars. Information about minimum pricing can be found here.
Who can I call to find out more information about commercial liquor permits?
You can contact SLGA’s Licensing Branch at 1(800)667-7565 or (306)787-5563 in Regina. You can also email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2.7 Liquor Retailing
How many liquor outlets are there in Saskatchewan?
There are approximately 700 liquor retailers in Saskatchewan that sell alcohol for off-premise consumption. Retailers include large standalone operations in larger centres, smaller businesses integrated within an unrelated business in rural communities and others that operate in conjunction with a liquor-permitted restaurant, hotel beverage room, brew pub, etc. (Previously these retailers were referred to as rural franchises, off-sale outlets, private stores and SLGA stores).
The majority of retailers in Saskatchewan are privately owned and operated. See www.saskliquor.com for information about SLGA’s retail operations.
How much can liquor retailers charge for alcohol products?
All liquor retailers are free to price their products as they determine appropriate for their business, subject to social reference pricing.
How can I become a liquor retailer?
Liquor retail permits may be available in certain communities depending on local population and the number of existing retailers. For more information click here.
I am a current liquor retailer with questions about my orders. Who can I contact?
If you have questions about how to set up a wholesale account or questions about how to place an order, you can contact your account representative. If you have a question about an order you placed, you can contact the order desk directly at (306)787-8422 or contact your account representative.
You may also email email@example.com. Please include your name, your business name and location as well as your contact information and someone will get back to you.
I can’t find the product I’m looking for at my local retailer. Is there any other way to get it?
Your local retailer has the ability to special order products that may not be currently available as a regular listing in Saskatchewan. Special orders are subject to minimum orders (generally one case), depending on the supplier. Please contact any liquor retailer to see if they will consider bringing in the product you are looking for.
Where can I learn more about craft producers in Saskatchewan?
Saskatchewan produces a number of high quality wines, spirits and beer. For more information about Saskatchewan's growing craft alcohol industry visit the industry's website.
2.8 Server Intervention
How do I get my server intervention training (Serve it Right)?
The Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council (STEC) offers training through its Serve It Right program. The training can be completed online as a self-directed course or in group seminars. For more information visit STEC.
I have certification from another province. Do I have to retake the Saskatchewan course?
If you hold a valid server intervention training certificate from another province, you may be able to transfer your certification to Saskatchewan. You should contact STEC to discuss further by calling: 1-800-331-1529. You can also submit an email using the “help” dropdown button on their website. For more information visit STEC.
When does the training need to be completed?
All employees involved in the sale and/or service of beverage alcohol must have obtained their SIRS certification and new employees must have their SIRS training prior to beginning their first shift. This applies to all staff working in liquor permitted establishments including restaurants, bars and retail liquor stores.
What does it cost?
Enrollment in the course costs $30.
I‘m having technical difficulties with the course website. Can you assist me?
The program and the related website are maintained by STEC. For more information you should contact them: 1-800-331-1529.
2.9 Liquor Suppliers
How can I get my product listed for sale in Saskatchewan?
SLGA uses a structured approach when considering and reviewing applications for product listings. Applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed according to a pre-determined schedule. SLGA may also invite suppliers to submit applications for specific types of products based on category analysis.
Suppliers can contact (306)787-4236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
How do I register as an agent?
SLGA does not currently require agents to be registered/licensed to do business in Saskatchewan. If a product is accepted for listing, the agent is required to submit a Letter of Authorization from the manufacturer stating the agent is approved to represent the product(s) in Saskatchewan.
Are there advertising rules suppliers need to be aware of?
The advertising standards set by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in the “Code of Broadcast Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages” shall be applied by SLGA to beverage advertising taking place in any medium in Saskatchewan. Other municipal, provincial and federal standards may also apply.
The CRTC Standards prohibit beverage alcohol advertising from targeting minors. In Saskatchewan, this is interpreted to mean that no beverage advertising may be placed:
- Within 200 metres of elementary or secondary schools, or places of worship;
- On buses specifically intended for transporting minors;
- On websites or other media that are direct primarily at minors; or
- On television or radio times when the audience is likely to be comprised primarily of minors.
2.10 Importing Beverage Alcohol From Abroad
I'm returning to Saskatchewan from abroad. How much alcohol can I bring back?
If you are 19 years of age, the federal Canada Borders Services Agency (CBSA) may grant you a personal exemption on the duties and taxes charged for alcoholic beverages you bring back. For more information about qualifying for the personal exemption and the amount of alcohol eligible under the duty free allowance, visit CBSA online.
How much alcohol can I bring into Saskatchewan beyond the CBSA's duty free allowance?
Travelers returning to Saskatchewan from abroad can import (over and above the federally established duty-free allowance) per person of legal drinking age:
- Three litres of spirits (four - 750 ml bottles of spirits)
- Nine litres of wine (12-750 ml bottles of wine), and
- 24.6 litres (six dozen) of beer, coolers or any combination thereof
On any quantity above the duty-free limit, the Canada Border Services Agency will collect SLGA's markup, federal duty and GST.
How much is the mark-up, federal duty and tax?
For an accurate quote, please contact SLGAcustoms@slga.gov.sk.ca.
I'm planning to move to Saskatchewan. Do I have to pay duty on my personal collection of alcohol?All alcohol imported from abroad to Saskatchewan in excess of the CBSA's personal exemption is subject to SLGA's markup, federal duty and GST. When moving to Saskatchewan from abroad, CBSA may require you to provide written authorization from SLGA permitting you to import your personal collection of alcohol.
Who operates the seven First Nations casinos in Saskatchewan?
The seven First Nations casinos are operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA):
- Gold Eagle opened in February 1996 in North Battleford.
- Northern Lights opened in March 1996 in Prince Albert.
- Bear Claw opened in November 1996 on the White Bear First Nation.
- Painted Hand opened in December 1996 in Yorkton.
- Dakota Dunes opened in August 2007 on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.
- Living Sky opened in December 2008 in Swift Current.
- Gold Horse opened in December 2018 in Lloydminster.
Who operates casinos Regina and Moose Jaw?
Casinos Moose Jaw and Regina are operated by the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation.
- Casino Regina opened in January 1996.
- Casino Moose Jaw opened in September 2002
3.12 Video Lottery Terminals
How many VLTs are there in Saskatchewan?
The current cap on VLTs for the province is 4,200 machines. VLTs can only be located in age-restricted liquor permitted establishments. There must be a minimum seating capacity of 30 seats in the age-restricted area to be eligible for VLTs.
What is the payout percentage for VLTs?
On average, the payout rate for VLTs in Saskatchewan is 92.5 per cent of money wagered. Payout is determined by the frequency and prize value of the winning combinations. (Payout percentages are based on millions of plays. Individual play experience will vary).
Where can I find out about the provincial VLT Jackpot?
The current jackpot amount can be viewed at www.saskvlt.com.
3.13 Charitable Gaming
What does charitable gaming include?
In Saskatchewan, licensed forms of charitable gaming include bingo, breakopen tickets, raffles, Texas Hold ‘em poker and Monte Carlo events (mock casino). Chase the Ace and 50-50 draws fall under the category of raffles.
Do all raffles need to be licensed?
Yes. The Criminal Code of Canada states that all gaming is illegal, unless it is licensed or operated by a government; and that licensing authorities in each province may only license charitable or religious organizations to raise funds through lottery schemes. There are some limited options for non-profit organizations that do not qualify as charities to fundraise through small raffles for charitable objects and purposes.
Who is eligible for a charitable gaming licence?
Charitable or religious organizations are eligible if proceeds are used for a charitable or religious object or purpose. See Section 6 - Eligibility in the Licensing and Charitable Gaming Policy and Procedure Manual for further information.
How do I apply for a charitable gaming licence?
SLGA issues licences for charitable gaming including: raffles (including 50-50 and Chase the Ace), bingo, Texas Hold 'em Poker Tournaments, Monte Carlo Charity Events (mock casino), and breakopen tickets (commonly referred to as ‘Nevada’ tickets).
All applicants must completely fill out the application for the particular licence they wish to obtain. Click here for a list of licences.
New applicants may also be asked to attach a copy of the organization’s incorporation papers, constitution, bylaws and minutes of the formation meeting with the application. Typically, each organization is required to have a separate chequing account, with monthly returned cheques, that is for gaming revenue only. Organizations must deposit all gaming proceeds into this account.
What is the charitable gaming grant program?
The government provides charitable groups and organizations a grant equal to 25 per cent of the net revenues they raise from charitable gaming activities to a maximum of $100,000 annually.
Who is eligible for charitable gaming grants?
All charitable or religious groups/organizations licensed by SLGA under section 207(1)(b) of the Criminal Code to conduct bingo, breakopen ticket sales, raffles, Texas Hold ‘em poker and Monte Carlo (mock casino) events are eligible to receive the grant provided they are in good standing with SLGA.
How do you apply for the grant?
Charitable groups and organizations do not have to apply for the grants. Information for the grants will be obtained from their charitable gaming licence. Grants are issued upon receipt and processing of the charitable gaming financial report.
Who can I call to find out more information about charitable gaming licences?
You can contact SLGA’s Licensing Branch at 1(800)667-7565 or (306)787-5563 in Regina. You can also email: email@example.com.
3.14 Gaming Employees and Suppliers
How do I register as a gaming employee?
A gaming employee is a person employed in a gaming-related capacity by a charitable gaming licensee, a gaming supplier, a casino, a bingo hall or bingo association, an exhibition casino operator, or Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) Saskatchewan office. Casino board members and any other person in a position designated by SLGA must also register as gaming employees. A person who works strictly as a volunteer and is not paid does not need to be registered.
You cannot apply directly to SLGA for registration. You must first apply to a gaming establishment (casino, bingo hall, etc.) for work. If they hire you, your employer will provide you with an application and will then forward the completed application to SLGA. If you meet the criteria for registration, your application will be approved.
Do gaming related businesses need to register as well?
Any company that wishes to provide supplies and services to the gaming industry in Saskatchewan, regardless of whether they provide gaming or non-gaming supplies and services, must register with SLGA unless they qualify for an exemption.For more information, click here.
4.15 Cannabis Legalization
Where can I purchase cannabis?
In Saskatchewan, cannabis can only be sold by stores that have a permit from SLGA. Cannabis retailers must operate a storefront and can also choose to sell product online.
How do I know if a store is legal?
It is illegal to purchase cannabis from a cannabis retailer who does not hold a permit issued by SLGA. If you’re unsure as to whether the retailer has a SLGA permit, just ask to see the permit – it should be publicly visible in the store. A list of permitted retailers is also available.
How old do I have to be to consume cannabis?
You must be 19 years of age or older to purchase, possess or consume non-medical cannabis in Saskatchewan.
Can cannabis be consumed in public places?
No, cannabis can only be consumed in private places. This means that consumption on a public street or sidewalk, in a public park, or in a car is prohibited, along with any other type of public place.
Do these rules apply to medical cannabis users?
Most provincial restrictions do not apply to medical cannabis users consuming cannabis obtained according to their Health Canada registration. Medical cannabis users cannot consume cannabis in a vehicle.
Where can I find more information about buying and using cannabis in Saskatchewan?
Additional information about the retail sale of cannabis is available on SLGA’s website and can be accessed directly here. There is also broader information about cannabis on the Government of Saskatchewan website.
4.16 Cannabis Permits
How do I apply?
Saskatchewan has an open market system for cannabis retailing. Interested individuals and businesses seeking a cannabis permit for all communities in the province can access application forms for additional retail cannabis permits from SLGA’s website.
What information will I need to apply?
Cannabis permit holders will continue to be subject to requirements related to good character, financial capacity, inventory tracking, security, etc. as well as any municipal restrictions. To learn more about the requirements view the Cannabis Regulatory Policy Manual.
What is the application fee/permit fee?
The permit fees associated with cannabis retail permits are unchanged. The fees are $5,000 for retail permits in cities ($2,000 application fee and $3,000 annual permit fee) and $3,500 for any other community ($2,000 application fee and $1,500 annual permit fee).
How long will it take for SLGA to approve my application so I can open for business?
SLGA recommends that applicants allow at least 180 days to complete the permitting process. Several factors may contribute to the time needed to issue a permit including: review of personal and corporate information; construction or renovation of a physical premise; set-up of inventory tracking and reporting systems; municipal or band confirmation that cannabis businesses are allowed; incomplete, missing or incorrect information on the application; confirmation that all owners and employees have taken mandatory social responsibility training.
How do I apply for a wholesale permit?
SLGA continues to accept applications for wholesale cannabis permits. There is no limit to the number of wholesale permits available. If an applicant meets the requirements regarding suitability of character, facility security and also has minimum specified tracking and reporting capabilities, they will qualify for a wholesale permit. Learn more.
How do I register as a federally licensed producer?
Licensed producers that are registered with SLGA will be allowed to sell into Saskatchewan’s market. Wholesalers/retailers will not be allowed to buy product from unregistered producers. The registration process will help SLGA monitor the movement of inventory in the Saskatchewan market. The application forms are available here. Learn more.