The auction of the 35 liquor permits associated with the SLGA Retail locations in the province closed this past Friday. When all of the dust settled, the auction raised $45 million in revenue for the province.
"We are pleased to see these auctions come to a successful conclusion," Minister Responsible for SLGA Lori Carr said. "The incredible amount of interest means that we will have additional revenue to put toward the high-quality public services we all enjoy."
The permit for the retail location in Weyburn netted $1,150,000. The three other permits in the area were in Estevan, Carlyle and Assiniboia. The Estevan permit came in at $1,407,500, Assiniboia was $550,200 and Carlyle was $450,000. The Carlyle permit was the lowest final bid received among the 35 permits.
The highest bid received in the province was $3,270,000 in La Ronge.
The winning bidders will now start the application process for the retail store permit. This will include meeting all SLGA licensing requirements. The timeline for the issuing of the permits will depend on how soon the retailers submit and meet those requirements. They do have 18 months to obtain the permit and open their doors. They must also pay the amount of the bid in full before the permit is issued.
Of the remaining SLGA retail stores, 27 of them are now closed, including the one that was in Weyburn. The other seven will be closing on March 11th.
The decision to close retail locations was announced in the Throne Speech in the fall. It was cited at the time that revenues from the retail locations were declining, and therefore it would be better to sell off the permits to the private sector.
Revenues were at $9.4 million in the 2018-19 fiscal year but had declined during the pandemic. The net income in 2021-22 was $3.2 million, above what had been budgeted but still below revenues in 2018-19.