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.
The 3 authority regions are defined in the Gaming Machine Regulation 2002. They are:
- South East region—the Brisbane and Moreton Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) statistical divisions
- Western region—the Central West, Darling Downs, North West and South West ABS statistical divisions
- Coastal region—the Far North, Fitzroy, Mackay, Northern and Wide Bay–Burnett ABS statistical divisions.
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 has been extended to 30 June 2024.
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 $75) 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 $731 per operating authority
- stamp duty.
For more information about the sale of hotel operating authorities, read Guideline G06: Authorised sale of hotel operating authorities.
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.
A minimum acceptable price is set for each region and any bids below that amount will not be successful.
Current minimum acceptable price
|Queensland region||Minimum acceptable price|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing date of sale
Contribution to CF