Apply for a gaming machine licence
To own and operate gaming machines in South Australia you must have a gaming machine licence and hold gaming machine entitlements.
Each gaming machine licence specifies the maximum number of gaming machines approved for a venue. The most any venue can have is 40 machines.
A gaming machine licence can't be granted to premises located under the same roof as shops or within shopping complexes.
More than one gaming machine licence may be held for separate parts of a premises if there are also separate liquor licences. In the case of clubs, two or more clubs may hold a gaming machine licence on the same premises if each one also holds their own liquor licence for that premises.
Before you begin
Liquor licenceYou must have, or have applied for:
- general and hotel licence
- club licence
- on premises licence, but only if:
- you previously held a special circumstances licence which was granted on the surrender of a hotel or club licence and the nature of the business is similar to a licensed hotel or club - or
- the premises constitutes a major sporting venue or the headquarters in South Australia for a particular sporting code, and the nature of the undertaking carried out under the licence is substantially similar to that of a licensed club.
Community impact assessment
The Liquor and Gambling Commissioner will only grant an application for a new gaming machine licence if they're satisfied that to do so is in the community interest.
All applicants for a new gaming machine licence must complete and submit a community impact assessment.
What you'll need
- a completed application form and fee payment
- a floor plan of the premises, with the gaming area clearly marked by a purple line
- an unmarked copy of the floor plan of the premises
- consent from the landlord to use the premises as a gaming venue - landlords consent form (PDF 189KB)
- a community impact submission
- a certificate of title for the premises
- a completed gaming tax direct debit consent form
- to apply for approval for:
- anyone in a position of authority
- anyone who receives profits or proceeds from the business
- a gaming machine technician.
If you're applying as a company, you'll also need to provide an ASIC extract for the company.
If you're applying as an incorporated association, you'll also need to provide:
- a certificate of incorporation for the association
- a copy of the association's constitution.
If you're applying as a trustee of a trust, you'll also need to provide a copy of the trust document for the trust which shows all trustees and beneficiaries.
Identifying positions of authority
It's your responsibility to ensure that everyone is approved by the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner if they:
- occupy a position of authority within your corporate structure/trust
- receive profits or proceeds from the business.
People who need to be approved
You'll need to apply for approval for:
- anyone in a position of authority
- anyone who receives profits or proceeds from the business.
If a person has already been approved in a position of authority under another current gaming machine licence in SA, they don't need to apply again if their circumstances haven't changed since their last approval.
You'll need to provide the following evidence at least 7 days before the commissioner or delegate considers your application. This could be information that wasn't available at the time you lodged the application.
You'll need to provide:
- development approval if the premises is undergoing structural changes to allow for the gaming area or is a new premises
- evidence you have entered into:
- a service agreement with a licensed gaming machine service agent
- a responsible gambling agreement with an approved industry body
- an agreement with the Independent Gaming Corporation (IGC) to monitor the gaming machines on premises
- evidence you have placed the notice of application on your premises for the required period - this can be a photograph of the notice on your premises and a written statement.
You'll also need to provide evidence that:
- the proposed gaming area within the premises:
- will be suitable for the proper conduct of gaming operations
- is enclosed
- is not designed or situated so it would be a special attraction to minors
- there will be adequate security for the premises, gaming areas and gaming machines
- the conduct of the proposed gaming operations would be unlikely to :
- result in undue offence, annoyance, disturbance or inconvenience to those who live, work or worship in the nearby area
- detract unduly from the character, nature, or the enjoyment of those ordinarily using the premises
- any approvals, consents or exemptions required under the law have been obtained.
What happens next
You can log in to the Liquor and Gaming Online portal at any time to track the progress of your application.
Your application will be sent to the South Australia Police Licensing Enforcement Branch.
You will also need to advertise notice of your application to the local community. CBS will advise you of the next steps and what you need to do.
Giving notice of an application is a mandatory requirement to provide members of the community an opportunity to raise any concerns and make a submission.
This is in addition to any advertising and consultation you may have undertaken previously.
Members of the public can make a submission on one of the following grounds:
- that granting the application:
- is not in the community interest
- would not be consistent with the objects of the Gaming Machines Act 1992 (the Act) or would be contrary to the Act in some other way
- that the applicant is of bad reputation or character or is not a fit and proper person to be licensed
- if the applicant is a trustee for a trust or a corporate entity, that the trustee is not a fit and proper person to be licensed
- that a person who occupies a position of authority is of bad reputation or character or is not a fit and proper person to hold such a position
- that the position, nature or quality of the premises renders them unsuitable to be licensed
- that if the application was granted:
- undue offence, annoyance, disturbance or inconvenience to people who reside, work or worship in the vicinity of the premises would be likely
- the safety or welfare of children attending kindergarten, primary school or secondary school in the vicinity of the premises (or proposed premises) would be likely to be prejudiced
- the locality would be adversely affected in some other way.
If a member of the public makes a submission in relation to your application:
- they must provide you with a copy of the written submission at least 7 days before the hearing date
- you may be invited to attend a conciliation conference with the parties involved, commissioner or a delegate.
The police may also intervene or make submissions in relation to your application.
The conciliation conference is not a formal process. There is no need to be represented by a lawyer, but you may choose to if you think it is necessary.
At the conciliation conference:
- the commissioner or delegate will ask you to explain the details of your application
- the police or person who made submissions about your application will explain their concerns
- the commissioner or delegate will help the parties reach an agreement if possible
- the delegate can explain what the law means and clarify any misunderstandings the parties may have but cannot provide you with legal advice
- if the objectors and you fail to come to an agreement the delegate cannot make a decision and will refer the matter to a hearing.
The commissioner may determine an application based on its contents and written submissions or may hold a hearing.
At a hearing:
- you will be able to explain the details of your application
- the police or people who made submissions can explain their concerns
- the commissioner or delegate will make a decision on the application.
If the commissioner chooses to refer your application to the Licensing Court of South Australia, more information will be provided by the court.
The commissioner may refer applications to the court:
- that involve questions of substantial public importance
- where a question of law arises in the proceedings before the commissioner
- when any other matter - in the public interest or in the interest of a party to the proceedings - should be heard and determined by the court.
The commissioner can't grant a gaming machine licence for premises that haven't been completed.
If your application is refused for this reason, the commissioner or delegate can grant a certificate of approval for the premises by approving the plans submitted as part of your application, but you must satisfy a number of requirements.
Granting a licence
Once your gaming machine licence is granted, you need to purchase gaming machine entitlements before you can operate gaming machines.
This can be done:
Each gaming machine entitlement gives you the right to own and operate a single gaming machine at your venue. The number of entitlements you hold can't be more than the maximum number of machines that have been approved for your premises. This is stated on your licence.
It's an offence to own or operate gaming machines without holding entitlements.