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First batch of Saskatchewan liquor permits sells, Regina sees highest bid at over $1.4M

There are 35 permits up for auction, with each closing some time from Feb. 15 to Feb. 24. SDV

The auction has closed on the first set of Saskatchewan liquor permits and they didn’t go cheap for those who bid.

The provincial government is selling off all of its liquor licences, after announcing last year it is exiting the retail market and instead rerouting the money spent to budgets like health care and highways.

Over the course of a few weeks, 35 permits have been put up for auction, with the first batch of them closing on Feb. 15, 2023.

The auctions are only for the permits, and they can only be used in the community where the SLGA store was located. A permit to replace a store in Regina is only good in Regina, but doesn’t need to be in the same location that the SLGA store was.

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Click to play video: 'Sask. liquor and gaming will auction off 35 liquor permits for retail stores next month'
Sask. liquor and gaming will auction off 35 liquor permits for retail stores next month

Three of the five permits that closed Wednesday went for over a million dollars each.

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The highest price tag was attached to one in Regina, which sold for $1.45 million, with the majority of the bidding taking place in the final hour of the auction.

One licence in Prince Albert sold for $1.4 million while another in Saskatoon sold for $1.25 million. Another one in Watrous sold for $724,500.

The final permit that closed Wednesday came from Carlyle for $450,000.

“We are pleased to see a successful first day of liquor permit auction,” the Government of Saskatchewan said in a statement to Global News.

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“The revenue generated will pay for the cost of winding down SLGA retail with additional earnings going to pay for the government services we all use.”

The final day of biding will take place on Feb. 25.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority workers protest at Regina Legislative Building'
Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority workers protest at Regina Legislative Building

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