Venues on notice: reckless alcohol promotions 'not tolerated'
The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) recently targeted 66 alcohol promotions and has put venues on notice that inappropriate promotions will not be tolerated.
Minister for Hospitality, Gaming and Racing Troy Grant said that the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government would continue to ensure the community could enjoy themselves in a safe and well regulated environment.
"NSW has world class restaurants, hotels, pubs and clubs and the vast majority of venues take their responsibility seriously and do the right thing," Grant said.
"The NSW Government will not apologise for throwing the book at inappropriate or reckless behaviour by licensed venues.
Licensed venue responsibility
"All licensed venues have a responsibility to ensure they comply with the responsible service of alcohol and they owe it to the community to encourage appropriate individual behaviour.
"Individuals also have a role to play, and at the end of the day people should look after each other.
"I congratulate the hard work and strong action from the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing and fully support the measures they are taking," Grant said.
OLGR investigated 95 suspect alcohol promotions and activities in 2013/14 resulting in bans or restrictions being placed on 66 of them, and has increased this compliance activity by 57 per cent compared to 2012/13. OLGR Executive Director Paul Newson said licensees must run responsible promotions or face regulatory action.
"Under NSW liquor laws, licensees and their staff must not only demonstrate responsible practices regarding the sale, supply and service of alcohol but also its promotion," Newson said.
"Irresponsible alcohol promotions can increase the risk of intoxication and associated community impacts such as violence, anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood disturbance.
"Promotions should not encourage irresponsible, rapid or excessive drinking; be designed to appeal to minors; or be indecent or offensive."
OLGR is proactively targeting irresponsible alcohol promotions which can increase the risk of alcohol-related harm including those advertised on venue websites and social media sites such as Facebook which have a wide exposure and target young adults," Newson said.
Alcohol promotions targeted by OLGR in 2013/14 included:
- An Easter beer drinking competition at a Kogarah venue encouraging patrons to get their 'hangovers ready and livers prepared'
- An Oxford Street hotel banned from serving drinks in plastic jerry cans
- An Albury nightclub which promoted a 'DRINK DRANK DRUNK' end of exams 'frat party' for university students
- A Campbelltown hotel which advertised State of Origin promotions of cheap beer until first points were scored and a Pyrmont hotel whose manager offered to 'shout the bar' if NSW led at half time
- An Ashfield karaoke bar which faced action for providing written instructions to wait staff to drink with customers and ply them with alcohol
- Four Tamworth bottle-shops ordered to cease promotions of pre-packaged shots
- OLGR publishes Liquor Promotion Guidelines to guide licensees on responsible promotions
Venues caught conducting irresponsible promotions will face bans or restrictions on their activities with potential fines of $5,500 for failing to comply and strikes under the Three Strikes disciplinary scheme.