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Warning to bottle shops after breaches detected

Thursday 16 July 2015       [PDF,150kb]

The Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR) warns bottle shops to check age identification of all young customers after school holiday compliance operations caught three venues selling alcohol to under 18s.

The OLGR compliance blitz over the last two weekends targeted bottle shops in Sydney’s west and north as well as the Hunter and Central Coast regions, with 42 bottle shops checked for compliance with the liquor laws, resulting in a number of serious breaches detected.

OLGR Director of Compliance and Enforcement Anthony Keon said the operation should serve as a stark warning for all bottle shops.

"The law couldn’t be any clearer. Selling alcohol to minors is illegal - no exceptions. Any venue that can’t comply with this basic requirement will face strict sanctions, including possible criminal prosecution, suspension of licence and cancellation and disqualification for repeat offences," Mr Keon said.

"It’s extremely concerning that a number of venues have failed to heed these warnings and have placed young people at risk by breaking the law.

"OLGR is cracking down on the sale of alcohol to minors and will continue to conduct increased compliance operations across the state."

Outcomes of the operation included:

  • A bottle shop in the Ryde area was observed selling alcohol to a minor who provided false age identification. The licensee was also found with expired responsible service of alcohol (RSA) accreditation and a staff member was selling alcohol without RSA accreditation.
  • Another bottle shop in the same area was found trading outside its authorised hours after it sold alcohol at around 9pm when it was licensed to close at 8pm. This could result in a strike being imposed on the venue upon conviction.
  • An Eastwood bottle shop was detected selling alcohol to a 17-year-old after ID was not checked.
  • A Penrith bottle shop was detected selling alcohol to a 17-year-old after ID was not checked. The staff member involved was also found drinking alcohol while serving customers, and the licensee was operating with expired RSA accreditation.

OLGR inquiries are continuing prior to regulatory action on these matters being undertaken.