Gaming machine operating authorities (hotels)

If you've been granted a gaming machine licence, or approval to increase the number of gaming machines on your premises, you must obtain an 'operating authority' for each gaming machine you're approved to operate.

The number of gaming machines in Queensland is capped. You can only obtain an operating authority through an authorised sale conducted by the Public Trustee of Queensland. Sales are conducted by competitive tender in each of the 3 authority regions (South East, Coastal and Western Queensland) and operating authorities can only be sold in the region where they originated.

Sales (tenders) of gaming machine operating authorities

Operating authorities are sold by tender auction. Bids are made by lodging a tender bid form, which eligible purchasers can request at the start of the sale.

On 1 July 2022, a 12-month trial to make it easier to transfer operating authorities started. The trial initiatives include:

  • reducing the transfer fees from 33% to 15%
  • publishing the minimum acceptable price.

How to know when the tender is called

The Public Trustee advertises the start of a tender in The Courier Mail, specifying the:

  • number of operating authorities available for sale in each region
  • closing date
  • lodgement details.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) then contacts all eligible buyers about the tender and sends sellers their forms by registered mail or email. The sale forms need to be completed and returned to OLGR before the tender's closing date.

Eligible buyers who intend to bid can request a tender bid form from OLGR. This form must be placed in the tender box at the Public Trustee's office no later than the deadline on the tender advertisement and paperwork.

The tender process

Only 1 tender bid form per eligible premises will be accepted, and you can't bid more than 1 amount per operating authority. If you're licensed to operate gaming machines at more than 1 premises, you should submit a separate tender bid form for each eligible premises.

Completed tender bid forms must be placed in the tender box at the office of the Public Trustee of Queensland no later than the time and date specified on the tender advertisement and paperwork. The Public Trustee will not accept bids by email, post or fax. OLGR can't accept any tender documents.

Documents lodged without the lodgement fee (currently $70) or received after the closing time, will be invalid. If you're lodging bids for more than 1 premises, you need to pay a lodgement fee for each.

Once the tender has closed, the Public Trustee will allocate each operating authority to valid tenders in order of highest to lowest bid.

The Public Trustee will notify successful bidders and require payment within 5 working days. Payment for each operating authority will include:

  • the amount bid on your tender form
  • an administration fee of $690 per operating authority
  • stamp duty.

For more information about the sale of hotel operating authorities, read Guideline G06: Authorised sale of operating authorities (hotel).

How much to bid for an operating authority

OLGR and Public Trustee staff can't advise you on how much to bid. Your bid amount is a matter for you and your accountant to decide.

The Public Trustee sets a minimum acceptable price for each region and any bids below that amount will not be successful.

Current minimum acceptable price

Queensland region Minimum acceptable price
South East $214,512
Coastal $126,997
Western $17,360

The average prices paid in previous tenders are listed in the table below.

Operating authority tender results

The following table provides information about recent sales and the average price of gaming machine operating authorities. For earlier tender results, contact olgrinfo@justice.qld.gov.au.

SOUTH EAST

COASTAL

WESTERN

Tender

Closing date of sale

Offered

Sold

Avg. price

Offered

Sold

Avg. price

Offered

Sold

Avg. price

Contribution to CF

Tender 49 13/04/2022 2 2 $281,500 44 44 $154,940 0 0 0 $2,214,105
Tender 48 21/07/2021 0 0 0 32 32 $122,516 0 0 0 $1,176,152
Tender 47 24/03/2021 12 12 $197,937 10 10 $122,250 0 0 0 $1,079,324
Tender 46 25/11/2020 25 25 $178,603 30 30 $105,002 0 0 0 $2,284,542
Tender 45 15/07/2020 0 0 0 14 14 $101,250 33 33 $17,061 $614,933
Tender 44 1/04/2020 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 8 16,500 $39,600
Tender 43 20/11/2019 5 5 $181,000 0 0 0 34 12 $20,000 $343,000
Tender 42 15/08/2019 41 41 $161,293 0 0 0 27 3 $25,000 $2,006,408
Tender 41 3/04/2019 88 88 $169,597 27 27 $57,489 24 8 $28,726 $5,011,968
Tender 40 14/11/2018 15 15 $187,954 24 13 $48,400 26 24 $36,737 $1,433,315
Tender 39 18/07/2018 37 37 $172,490 24 24 $50,903 28 10 $35,001 $2,386,141
Tender 38 14/03/2018 5 5 $160,085 37 13 $57,523 29 1 $41,001 $476,766

Also consider...