Complaints about liquor and gaming venues
This information will help you make a complaint about a person or business you believe may be in breach of liquor or gaming laws. You will also find out what assistance the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) can provide.
Complaints we may investigate
OLGR assesses complaints to determine the most appropriate way to resolve the matter, including through a more formal investigation. This includes complaints about:
- sale or supply of alcohol without a permit or licence
- irresponsible service of alcohol or irresponsible gambling practices
- safety of patrons and the local amenity
- minors drinking or gambling at a licensed venue
- breaching adult entertainment laws
- patrons disobeying self-exclusion orders
- illegal advertising or promotions
- unreasonable noise.
Complaints about noise
Licensees must ensure the noise coming from their premises isn't unreasonable and doesn't exceed the noise limit condition on their liquor licence. This includes entertainment and patron noise, and some types of mechanical noise related to the operation of the premises.
The OLGR doesn't investigate every complaint it receives about problem noise. We assess a number of factors to decide whether to investigate the matter or if another response is more appropriate. Receiving detailed information from you will help with our assessment.
Before lodging a complaint with OLGR you should consider contacting the venue to try resolving the matter.
If it's still a problem, keep a noise complaint diary to record details about each instance of noise. The longer you record the information, the greater chance we have of identifying any patterns or trends.
Complaints we can't investigate
We can't investigate:
- patron bans imposed by the licensee, police, or Queensland courts
- online gambling apps or websites (e.g. casino or pokies apps)
- betting or wagering operators, other than UBET or TAB
- entertainment noise from licensed premises located in the Fortitude Valley special entertainment precinct—these complaints are managed by the local council
- pub poker tournaments held outside the 4 Queensland casinos (e.g. National Poker League, Australian Poker League, World Poker Tournament)
- noise nuisance from unlicensed premises—this is a Queensland Police Service (QPS) or local council issue
- waste services provided at licensed premises—this is a local council issue.
How to make a complaint about a licensed venue
Before making a complaint, we encourage you to contact the licensee or venue manager about your concerns and give them the chance to resolve the issue. The licensee should have an internal complaint resolution process in place. If you're uncomfortable approaching the licensee or venue manager, or not satisfied with the outcome, you can make a complaint to OLGR by:
- submitting an online complaint form
- emailing a liquor-related complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org
- emailing a gambling-related complaint to email@example.com
- downloading the complaint form, completing it and posting it to:
Investigations Branch Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
Locked Bag 180
CITY EAST QLD 4002
Note: We don't accept complaints through social media.
Evidence to support your complaint
You should provide as much detail as possible about your complaint, for example, by keeping a diary and taking photos or videos. If your complaint is about ongoing noise, you can either download and complete a noise complaint diary to show the pattern of the noise or submit a noise complaint diary online.
Make sure you provide your contact details in case we need more information.
Our complaint assessment process
We assess complaints on a case-by-case basis. To identify an appropriate course of action, for example, whether to start an investigation, we consider:
- whether other complaints have been received about similar matters
- the venue's previous compliance or the type and severity of their non-compliance
- the availability of evidence and prospect of proving the breach
- whether it's in the public interest to investigate the matter.
If we start an investigation, we might ask you or the licensee for more information, take statements, collect documentary and physical evidence and conduct interviews.
How we assess noise complaints
OLGR adopts an escalated investigation model to complaints it receives about problem noise, and undertakes an assessment to determine if it will investigate the matter. If we receive a complaint about noise, we may consider:
- the number of complaints OLGR has received about problem noise from the venue
- how often excessive noise is an issue
- whether ambient background noise meets the levels allowed under section 40 of the Liquor Regulation 2002
- any reasonable steps the licensee is taking to ensure the noise doesn't negatively impact the local area
- whether any changes (either structural or business-related) have been made to the licensed premises or your residence or business. This is called the 'order of occupancy'—prior occupancy may prevent us taking further action.
Depending on the outcome, we may also inspect the premises (either announced or unannounced) or arrange noise testing.
How we resolve a breach of liquor and gaming laws
We use an escalated enforcement approach to resolving breaches of liquor and gaming laws. This generally means our enforcement actions increase in severity depending on the level of harm involved and the licensee's level of non-compliance with the law.
If we investigate your complaint, we'll allocate an OLGR investigator, who will keep you informed of the progress throughout the investigation.
Depending on the evidence gathered during the investigation, we may:
- advise the licensee of the complaint and take an educative approach, reminding them of their obligations under the relevant legislation
- issue an infringement
- issue an abatement notice requiring the licensee to rectify issues and demonstrate they're meeting their licence conditions
- issue a compliance order under section 46A of the Liquor Act 1992
- take prosecution action in the Queensland courts
- impose a variation to the licence conditions
- take other disciplinary action like cancelling the licence.
If the licensee has not breached liquor or gaming laws
If our assessment or investigation identifies no breach of the law administered by OLGR has occurred, we will provide you with options you may wish to take to resolve the issue.
Timeframe to resolve complaints
We aim to resolve general complaints within 1–3 months. However, more complex complaints and serious breaches of the liquor and gaming laws may take longer depending on the issues and type of investigation being undertaken.
Submit an online complaint
When you have read this information and prepared any supporting evidence, submit an online complaint about the person or business you believe may be in breach of liquor or gaming laws.
Contact OLGR for more information about liquor and gaming complaints.