Gaming machine licence

Criteria

An applicant for a gaming machine licence must satisfy the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner of the following:

  • That they have conducted a Social Effect Inquiry and hold a Social Effect Certificate issued by the Commissioner in respect to the site of the premises where the gaming machine licence is sought.
  • The proposed layout of gaming machines is suitable for the proper conduct of gaming operations.
  • There is adequate security proposed for the premises, gaming area(s) and the gaming machines.
  • The conduct of the proposed gaming operations would be unlikely to result in undue offence, annoyance, disturbance or inconvenience to those who reside, work or worship in the vicinity of the premises.
  • The size of the proposed gaming operations will not predominate over the undertaking ordinarily carried out on the premises.
  • The conduct of gaming operations would not detract unduly from the character of the premises, the nature of the undertaking carried out on the premises or the enjoyment of persons ordinarily using the premises.
  • The proposed gaming area(s) is not designed or situated so that it would be a special attraction to minors.
  • The proposed gaming area(s) is enclosed as defined by sections 4(3) and (4) of the Tobacco Products Regulations Act 1997.

The Commissioner does not have to consider need criteria. In other words, the Commissioner will not have regard to the proximity of the proposed gaming machine venue to other gaming machine venues in the area, nor to the number of gaming machine venues within the locality.

An applicant must satisfy the Commissioner that they are fit and proper persons to hold a gaming machine licence and will need to complete a Personal Information Declaration. The results of a police check (including having fingerprints taken) and creditworthiness will be taken into consideration.

Restrictions on location

Since 18 December 1997 a gaming machine licence can not be granted in respect of premises located under the same roof as shops or within shopping complexes. For further details refer to Section 15A of the Gaming Machines Act 1992.

Plurality of licences

  • More than one gaming machine licence may be held in respect of separate parts of a premises if the premises is subject to separate liquor licences.
  • In the case of clubs, two or more clubs may hold a gaming machine licence in respect of the same premises if each of those clubs also holds a liquor licence in respect of that premises.
  • The Liquor and Gambling Commissioner must be satisfied that each licensee will have sole control over the gaming machines owned by the club.

However, the maximum number of total machines for all licences held at that premises can not exceed 40. For example, if two clubs each hold a gaming machine licence in respect of the same premises, the maximum number of machines each club can operate is 20 machines (40 in total).

The Commissioner must be satisfied that each licensee will have sole control over the gaming machines owned by the club.

Social effect inquiry process and principles

From 1 June 2011 an application for a gaming machine licence cannot be granted unless the applicant has conducted a Social Effect Inquiry and has been issued with a Social Effect Certificate by the Commissioner in respect to the site of the premises where the gaming machine licence is sought.

The Independent Gambling Authority has prescribed by notice how applicants must conduct a Social Effect Inquiry. A copy of the notice is available from the IGA website:

An applicant for a Social Effect Certificate must satisfy the Commissioner that the grant of a gaming machine licence in respect of the premises on the site would not be contrary to the public interest on the ground of the likely social effect on the local community and, in particular, the likely effect on problem gambling within the local community.

When assessing the social effect of the grant of a gaming machine licence, the Commissioner:

  • Must apply the social effect principles prescribed by the Independent Gambling Authority; and
  • Must 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 locality (except insofar as that economic effect may be relevant to an assessment of the likely social effect of the grant of the licence on the local community).

Operating hours

Operating hours for gaming machines must fall within trading hours authorised under the Liquor Licensing Act 1997, for example the general bar trading hours of the premises: if the liquor licence ceases trading at midnight, gaming trading must also cease at midnight. Unless the proposed gaming trading hours are indicated in the application, the Commissioner will fix a standard set of hours.

Note: The gaming trading hours can be less than the liquor trading hours, but the liquor trading hours can not be less than the gaming trading hours.

Mandatory six hour break

In approving gaming trading hours, a six hour break must be included. This can be one single period of six hours, two periods of three hours or three periods of two hours.

Public holidays

If different trading hours are required for all public holidays or a specific public holiday this must be detailed in the application. This must correspond with the hours authorised under the Liquor Licensing Act 1997.

On New Year’s Day hotel and club licences are permitted to trade between midnight and 2 am as authorised under the Liquor Licensing Act 1997. If gaming trading hours are required between midnight and 2 am this must be detailed in the application.

If gaming trading hours are required beyond 2 am this must be detailed in the application and the licensee must also apply for corresponding liquor trading hours.

Note: Licensees must still comply with the mandatory six hour break.

If extended liquor trading hours are required, the licensee must apply to the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner for an Extended trading authorisation.

How to apply

Applicants may wish to contact a solicitor or relevant industry association before making an application.

  • All the relevant forms and other documentation will need to be lodged meeting the minimum requirements when making an application.
  • Once the minimum requirements and documents have been received by the Consumer and Business Services, applicants will be informed of the hearing  date for the application.

What to include

  1. Gaming machine licence application (PDF 54KB)
  2. application fee – including government gazette fee for advertising
  3. notice of advertisement
  4. two plans of the proposed licensed premises and gaming machine layout
  5. if the applicant is a company – ASIC search extract and/or share certificates
    • detailing directors and shareholders of the company
  6. Personal Information Declarations (PDF 120KB) (PID):
    • for gaming machine managers and gaming machine employees
    • in the case of a sole-trader or partnership:
      • for the sole applicant or each partner
    • in the case of a body corporate:
      • for each director and shareholder
      • for each director and shareholder of any shareholding company
      • for each beneficiary under a trust (other than a minor)
      • for any other person in a position of authority
    • in the case of an incorporated body (eg. club):
      • for each committee member
  7. fingerprinting instructions:
    • two passport sized photographs for each person seeking approval
    • once a Personal Information Declaration has been lodged, each person must arrange to have their fingerprints taken
    • if a person resides in a remote area, interstate or overseas, alternative arrangements can be made
    • contact the Licensing Enforcement Branch to make an appointment or to make an alternative arrangement.

Relevant police and creditworthiness checks may take up to six weeks to complete. If individuals reside interstate or overseas, this may take longer. It is strongly advised that Personal Information Declarations be lodged and arrangements made for fingerprints to be taken, as soon as possible.

A hearing date will not be set until all of these documents have been received.

Further requirements

Lodge at least seven days before hearing date

The following documents are required to be lodged at least seven days before the date of the hearing or your application may be delayed.

  • Proof that the application has been advertised:
    • a copy of the page where the advertisement appears in The Advertiser
    • a copy of the page where the advertisement appears in the local newspaper (eg. Messenger)
    • a copy of the notice has been given to the local council.
  • Details of finance:
    • a copy of a bank or loan statement if the applicant has borrowed money to finance the application.
  • Certificate of registration of business name.
  • Copy of certificate of title in the name of the applicant.
  • Details of proposed security of gaming area(s) and gaming machines.
  • Commitment to entering into monitoring agreement with the Independent Gaming Corporation (IGC) and service agent.
  • Other information as directed by the Commissioner in considering the social effect test:
    • IGC will have details of your intention to operate the gaming machine licence and will prepare documentation for your entity’s signature as soon as the application is granted.

Other documentation required (if applicable)

  • If the applicant does not own the freehold:
    • executed copy of lease agreement or similar evidence of tenure
    • a letter of consent from the landlord.
  • If the applicant is a partnership, and a partnership agreement has been executed:
    • partnership agreement.
  • Front page and schedule of beneficiaries relating to any trusts:
    • in the case of a unit trust, the number of units held by each unit holder and whether they are held for someone else.
  • Any other relevant approvals, consents or exemptions.
  • Any agreed conditions by interested parties.
    • for example – Department of Transport, Urban Lands Trust, Marine and Harbours etc.