Operating gaming machines

To operate gaming machines (known as poker machines or pokies) in South Australia you must:

  • have a gaming machine licence, and
  • hold a gaming machine entitlement for each gaming machine in your possession.

Gaming machine licence entitlements

There are a number of other requirements to operate a gaming machine.

Gaming machine design and technical standards

All gaming machines in Australia and New Zealand must comply with nationally agreed design and technical standards that set out requirements for:
  • consumer protection
  • player information (paytables, rates of return to players, instructions on how to operate)
  • artwork
  • security and integrity of game software
  • auditability
  • specifications.

Australian/New Zealand Gaming Machine National Standard

Each Australian state and territory also issue appendices which list variations for their jurisdiction.

Gaming Machine Prohibited Features Register

When approving games, gaming machines or equipment, the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner Commission must be satisfied that granting an application is in the public interest. Minimising the harm associated with gambling is particularly important when making this decision.

The Gaming Machine Prohibited Features Register lists banned game features that game designers should be aware of.

Gaming machine manufacturers can use this as a guide to ensure that game and gaming machine design follows harm-minimisation guidelines.

Contact CBS Gaming and Associations for further information.

Email: gamblingadministration@sa.gov.au
Phone: 131 882 and select option 6

Facial recognition systems

Gaming venues authorised to operate 30 or more gaming machines (with at least one gaming machine able to be operated using a banknote acceptor) must have approved facial recognition technology installed to identify barred persons entering a gaming area.

Only facial recognition systems that have been evaluated and approved by the commissioner will be allowed to operate in gaming venues.

A notice must be displayed at each entrance to a gaming area to notify those about to enter that a record of their facial image will be made by the facial recognition system.

A list of approved facial recognition systems and steps for engaging with a system provider are available on the CBS website.

Venues who are not subject to this mandatory requirement may also voluntarily choose to implement this technology to support their responsible gambling operations.

A facial recognition system must not be used for, or in connection with any of the following:

  • encouraging or providing incentives to a person to gamble
  • customer loyalty programs
  • a lottery within the meaning of the Lotteries Act 2019
  • identifying a barred person outside the licensed premises where the system is operating
  • any other purpose notified by the commissioner to the system provider or licensee.

Banknote acceptors and TITO

Gaming machines can be operated using banknotes or tickets (commonly known as 'ticket-in ticket-out' or TITO) instead of coins.

Gaming machines using banknotes or tickets in hotels and clubs will need to:

Gaming machine manufacturers will need to submit an application to CBS so that gaming machines fitted with banknote acceptors and ticket-enabled devices can be approved for use in South Australia.

See Banknote acceptors and TITO for more details.

Monitoring of gaming machines

All gaming machines in South Australian hotels and clubs are monitored in real time to ensure:

  • machines and installed software are approved and configured correctly
  • machines only operate during approved trading hours
  • machines able to be operated by banknote or ticket comply with certain transaction limits
  • the collection of financial and statistical gaming data
  • the collection of information to assess a venue's gaming tax.

The monitoring system does not:

  • control or influence the outcome of any game
  • adjust the odds of winning or prizes paid.

SKYCITY Adelaide operates an independent system, which has been approved by the commissioner, to monitor gaming machines operating at the Adelaide Casino.

Purchase, sale and disposal of gaming machines

The purchase, sale or disposal of a physical gaming machine is the responsibility of the licence holder and must be done through a licensed gaming machine dealer.

List of gaming machine dealers (PDF 65KB)

Installation and maintenance of gaming machines

The installation, service, repair, disconnection or removal of a gaming machine can only be carried out by a licensed gaming machine service agent or an affiliate.

There are currently two service licensees in South Australia:

Amtek Services Pty Ltd
Unit 2/48 Barwell Ave
Kurralta Park
Phone: (08) 8351 1665

Maxx Gaming
Unit 4/938 South Rd
Edwardstown SA 5039
Phone: (08) 8275 9700

Contact CBS Gambling Team

Email: gamblingadministration@sa.gov.au

Phone: 131 882 and select option 6

GPO Box 2169
Adelaide SA 5001

Personal barring queries

If you want to be barred or have questions about your barring phone or text: 0427 051 300

For all other queries, including venue queries relating to barrings, phone 131 882.

Page last updated 15 February 2023

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
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