Apply for a social effect certificate

You need to have a social effect certificate before you can apply for a gaming machine licence. This involves conducting a social effect inquiry (SEI) and preparing a report for the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner.

The commissioner considers the report to ensure that if a gaming machine licence was granted, it would not have a negative social effect on the local community - in particular, that it would not have a detrimental effect on problem gambling.

Regardless of the number of gaming machines to be operated at the venue, the commissioner has no discretion to waive the requirement for a social effect inquiry.

How to apply

Send your report and any relevant additional information to Consumer and Business Services.

There is no fee for this application.

Email the application to

Post to:

Licensing and Registration
GPO Box 2169
Adelaide SA 5001

Inquiry process


The purpose of a social effect inquiry is to:

  • make people who live in the local community, own property, or work in the area aware of the proposed gaming machine licence and invite and respond to comments
  • make local community organisations which provide social and educational services to the people who live in the local community area aware of the proposed gaming machine licence and invite and respond to comments.


You must prepare a report about your inquiry which must include:

  • an explanation of how the local community were consulted about the proposed gaming machine licence
  • details of any comments and responses to address any local community concerns with the proposal
  • information about the proposed premises
  • the business model underlying the proposal
  • arrangements to address problem gambling and harm-minimisation measures
  • statistical information about the local community area.

The SEI and report must be compiled in accordance with the following instructions.

Gaming machines - Social Effect Inquiry process and principles - prescription notice 2011 SEI Notice (PDF 250KB).

Consumer and Business Services (CBS) staff can't give any information or guidance about the adequacy or completeness of your report, as this will form part of the commissioner's assessment of your application.

What happens next

A case manager from consumer and Business Services will contact you to confirm that your application was received.

Your case manager will let you know whether you need to:

  • publish a notice of your application in certain newspapers
  • publish a notice of your application in the government gazette
  • notify your local council.

The advertising of applications is a mandatory requirement to allow members of the public to raise any objections and is in addition to any advertising and consultation you may have engaged in with the local community during the social effect inquiry process.


As notice of your application is made public:

  • a person may object if they have a reason to do so
  • the police may also intervene on your application if there are concerns about public disorder, disturbance or would be contrary to the public interest

If someone objects to your application:

  • you will be provided with the details of the objection
  • you and the objectors will be invited to take part in a conciliation conference with the commissioner or a delegate.

Conciliation conference

The conciliation conference is not a formal process, there is no need to be represented by a lawyer, but you may choose to do so if you think it is necessary.

At the conciliation conference:

  • the delegate will ask you to explain the details of your application
  • the objectors will explain what their concerns are
  • the delegate will help the parties reach an agreement
  • 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 whether to conduct the hearing or refer the matter to be heard by the Licensing Court.

At a hearing before the commissioner:

  • you will be able to explain the details of your application
  • the objectors can explain their concerns
  • the commissioner will make a decision on the application.

When considering your application the commissioner must:

  • apply the social effect principles set by the Independent Gambling Authority
  • consider the scale of the proposed gaming operations relative to the other businesses to be conducted at, or in connection with, the premises
  • not have regard to the economic effect that the granting of the licence might have on the business of other licensed premises in the relevant area, except any economic effect that may be relevant to the assessment.

If your matter goes before the licensing court, more information will be provided by the court.

Your case manager will keep you updated on the progress of your application.

Contact CBS Liquor and Gaming


Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 2169
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 6 August 2020

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