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In line with significant gambling reform in South Australia, a new community impact test will replace the current Social Effect Inquiry Process and Principles.

This new test will be more closely aligned to the process required for a liquor licence.

The new Community Impact Assessment Guidelines (PDF 141KB) explain this process.  

What is a Community Impact Assessment?

The Liquor and Gambling Commissioner is only able to grant an application for a new gaming machine licence, or a designated application, if they are satisfied that to do so is in the community interest.

To make this assessment, the Commissioner is required to take into consideration:

  • harm that might be caused by gambling – whether to a community as a whole, or a specific group within that community
  • cultural, recreational, employment or tourism impacts
  • social impact in the community.

When applying for a gaming machine licence, applicants must provide evidence that shows the licence would be in the community interest.

Members of an affected community are also able to object to an application. They can make a submission to the Commissioner, explaining why they believe a gaming machine licence should not be granted.

Designated applications

Any application for a new gaming machine licence is automatically deemed to be a designated application. 

All other applications are assessed by the Commissioner once received to determine whether they are deemed to be a designated application for the purpose of the Gaming Machine Act 1992. 

Once your application is received, a case manager from Consumer and Business Services will contact you to confirm the designated application status and whether you need to prepare a community impact assessment. 

The Community Impact Assessment Guidelines (PDF 141KB) provide a list of guiding principles and criteria the Commissioner considers when determining whether an application is deemed to be a 'designated application'. 

What do I have to do? 

All new applications for a gaming machine licence, as well as applications classified as designated applications, will need to complete a community impact assessment submission. 

As each community is different, the level of detail required in a submission will vary for each application and will be subject to the complexity and potential impact on the affected locality. 

Where a submission is being prepared in conjunction with a designated application under the Liquor Licensing Act 1997, information that is required under both Acts can be provided once to avoid duplication in the application process. 

Preparing the submission

A Community Impact Assessment Submission does not have to be prepared by legal counsel or an industry consultant. 

Applicants can complete their own Community Impact Assessment Submission after liaising with the relevant stakeholders and interest groups in the locality and obtaining all over required information. 

Applicants should use the online form provided in the CBS Liquor and Gaming Online (LGO) Portal. This includes a guide as to the type of information needed to support your Community Impact Assessment Submission. 

Alternatively, you can prepare a Community Impact Assessment Submission in a different format and lodge that through the LGO Portal. 

If a Community Impact Assessment Submission does not adequately address the issues, the Commissioner may require additional information to be provided prior to determining the application. 

What’s different?

The new Community Impact Assessment Guidelines (PDF 141KB):

  • help streamline this process for applicants, who can complete a submission themselves without having to use a lawyer.
  • provide more clarity around the requirements, while still allowing the Commissioner to request additional information before making a decision.

Applicants can also use the existing Liquor and Gaming Online (LGO) Portal to submit their submission and supporting material related to gaming machine licences.

Stakeholder engagement

The level of scrutiny and rigour around the application will not change, but the level of detail required will be different for each application.

Applicants will need to provide evidence they have contacted key stakeholders including:

  • the local council
  • local community welfare and help services
  • cultural and residential groups.

This evidence will be included in the community impact assessment submission, and can be in the form of things like petitions, survey results or letters of support.

Clearer definitions

Consistent with the recent liquor licensing reforms, the term ‘locality’ will be used to describe the area surrounding an applicant’s premises. 

Generally, this will mean the area within: 

  • a 2km radius of the premises within the Adelaide metropolitan area
  • a 5km radius of the premises outside of the metropolitan area. 

A suitable locality should be chosen where the premises is remotely located.

The Commissioner will decide whether the locality has been identified appropriately when determining the application. 

Simpler statistical and demographic information requirements

As the new Community Impact Assessment for gaming applications will be aligned with the liquor licence application process, information will no longer need to be duplicated for concurrent applications.

The new guidelines specify that while some statistical information will still be required, most of this can be sourced from the CBS Community Impact Assessment Portal

This includes data like crime statistics, social profile information and population and unemployment figures. 

Harm minimisation

The new Community Impact Assessment process will place a greater emphasis on how applicants will minimise gambling related harms in the community. 

Applications will need to address and provide copies of the policies and procedures that will be implemented to minimise any harmful impacts to at-risk groups in the locality. 

This includes how the applicant will:

  • identify possible problem gamblers in those premises
  • inform customers and their families of, and facilitate access to, voluntary self-exclusion and formal barring (including licensee involuntary barring)
  • enforce and comply with voluntary self-exclusion and formal barring
  • design or locate the gaming area so it would not be a special attraction to minors, detract unduly from the character of the premises or the enjoyment of patrons using the premises (apart for the purpose of gaming)
  • arrange security of the licenced gaming area and the gaming machines.


For queries relating to the Community Impact Assessment process, contact CBS on 131 882 or gamblingadministration [at] sa.gov.au