Complaints about liquor and gaming venues

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) makes every effort to achieve a compliant industry, but there may be times when a licensee, their employees or a patron breach liquor or gaming laws. This page provides information on how to deal with a situation when the liquor or gaming provider is not meeting their legal obligations.

To register a complaint about an OLGR service (including how an OLGR officer provided that service), product, procedure, practice, policy or a breach of privacy, please contact us or visit Compliments and complaints.

Complaints that OLGR investigates

OLGR investigates allegations against gaming and liquor providers and their staff, such as:

  • unreasonable noise
  • illegal advertising and promotions
  • selling alcohol without a licence or permit
  • providing gambling without licence or permit
  • adult entertainment breaches
  • irresponsible service of alcohol or gaming
  • safety and amenity.

When OLGR does not have jurisdiction over the concern, the complaint may need to be referred to another agency such as the Queensland Police Service, the Office of Fair Trading or your local government.

How to complain about a licensed venue

Before making a complaint, we encourage you to contact the licensee to try and resolve the issue. Often a licensee will have processes in place to resolve issues brought to their attention, without having to involve OLGR.

If you've raised an issue with the licensee and are not successful in having it addressed, or if you feel uncomfortable in approaching the licensee, you can make a complaint to OLGR using any of the following methods:

Note: Social media is not an acceptable method for lodging a complaint.

Providing evidence to support your complaint

Provide as much detail about your complaint as possible, as well as your contact details so that an OLGR investigator can contact you if they require more information. Keep a diary of the issue and provide photos where relevant.

For example, if you are making a noise complaint, diarise the:

  • date
  • time
  • type of noise (such as loud music, patron noise, public address (PA) system, live band)
  • when you heard the noise
  • where you were when you heard the noise.

You may wish to use the noise nuisance complaint diary.

Liquor and gaming complaints process

When OLGR receives a complaint we assess the matter and investigate (if required).

We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 business days of receipt and we will communicate with you in accordance with OLGR's client service charter.

Depending upon the nature of the matter, OLGR will make enquiries to find out if a breach of legislation has occurred. When the matter is considered serious, OLGR may undertake a formal investigation. This can involve taking statements, collecting documentary and physical evidence, and conducting interviews.

Where there is a breach of liquor and gaming laws

A wide range of enforcement actions are available to achieve compliance, including negotiations, cautions and warnings.

Serious or repeated matters may warrant:

  • issue of infringement notice/s
  • prosecution action
  • suspension or cancellation of a licence.

OLGR's actions will depend on the nature of the complaint. Generally, OLGR contacts the licensee to advise them of the complaint and seeks cooperation in the first instance. We may also conduct an unannounced inspection of the licensed premises.

If your complaint is about noise, OLGR will contact the licensee or licensee's approved manager regarding the issue and may conduct a site inspection. We will provide the licensee with an opportunity to answer to any allegations made. Developing strategies to resolve the issue may also form part of this process. If no agreement can be reached, OLGR will conduct noise testing at certain locations, including your residence (if you agree).

OLGR will keep you informed of progress as strategies are negotiated with the licensee.

Where there is no breach of liquor and gaming laws

While OLGR can take action in instances where a breach of legislation has occurred, we also help resolve conflict by intervening where no breach has taken place. OLGR can negotiate with licensees to achieve a result that satisfies both the complainant and the licensee.

Complaints resolution timeframe

A simple complaint is usually resolved within 1 month if all parties cooperate. More complex complaints and serious breaches of liquor and gaming laws may take longer.

Contact us

Contact OLGR for more information about liquor and gaming complaints.