Responsible Service newsletter

Minister's message

The Queensland Government remains committed to tackling alcohol-fuelled violence and working with industry and the community to improve patron safety.

As many of you would be aware, the government has refined its policy to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence following careful consideration of an independent review into the first 6 months of the policy. This review was conducted by the Deakin University’s Institute for Social Science Research.

From 1 February 2017, licensees located in all of Queensland’s 15 safe night precincts (SNPs), regardless of whether they were prescribed as a 3am or 2am SNP, are permitted to trade liquor until 3am, with no lock out, if their current approved hours allow them to do so.

The statewide 2am last drinks is unaffected by these changes, in-line with current arrangements for venues outside of safe night precincts.

The following initiatives will be implemented over the coming months:

  • an introduction of mandatory networked ID scanners in SNPs by 1 July 2017
  • limiting the number of one-off extended hour trading permits (trading until 5am), and circumstances for these, that venues within SNPs can apply for and/or be granted
  • and
  • enforcement of banning orders for repeat offenders.

Together with the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) we will continue to work with liquor licensees and staff to reduce the toll of alcohol-fuelled violence.

The Hon Yvette D'Ath MP
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills

Executive Director's message

Changes to liquor laws

Following the Queensland Government’s announcement of further changes to liquor laws as part of its Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence reforms, it has been business as usual for many clubs across Queensland. However moving forward, licensees may notice changes to their business’ operations.

These changes surround the application and approval of one-off extended trading hours permits and the commencement of networked ID scanners.

Changes to one-off extended hours permits

The number of one-off extended trading hour permits (after midnight) that licensees can apply for per calendar year have been reduced from 12 to 6.

The criteria for how applications from all venues across Queensland are considered have been tightened. For example, applications will be limited to ‘special occasions’ only, such as a unique or infrequent event of local, state or national significance.

The frequency that permits can be used have also be reduced, except for when there is a legitimate use, such as recognised multi-day music festivals.

Further details in relation to the extended trading hours permits will be provided at a later date.

Commencement of networked ID scanners

Non-exempt licensed venues inside SNPs that trade past midnight on a permanent basis will be required to have an approved networked ID scanner installed and operating at their venue by 1 July 2017.

Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) had deferred enforcement of the mandatory networked ID scanners provisions to enable the Queensland Government to undertake further consultation with industry to ensure the best way to implement these arrangements.

We will continue to work with licensees on both of these changes and will update you with further information as it becomes available.

Information will also be regularly updated at www.business.qld.gov.au/liquor-gaming and via the OLGR’s social media platforms.

25 years since gaming machines were introduced in Queensland

For some of us at OLGR it only seems like yesterday when gaming machines went live in Queensland 25 years ago this month.

On 11 February 1992, gaming machines were switched on in 7 licensed clubs across the state. More licensed clubs came online quickly and in April 1992 gaming machines were introduced into hotels/taverns. By the end of 2016, there were 42,083 gaming machines operating in 1,174 licensed clubs and hotels.

For the first few years following their introduction, the Queensland Government owned and monitored all gaming machines in the state.

Queensland was the first jurisdiction in Australia to provide a centralised monitoring system, leading the way by meeting and resolving initial teething problems.

The Queensland regulatory model became an acknowledged world leader in the gaming industry.

Bumper catch machineFirst approved Queensland gaming machine plaque

Gaming machine MGD 00001 – ‘Bumper Catch’ – was activated on 11 February 1992 at the Moorooka Bowls Club. Over time, new technology made the machine redundant and it now lives in quiet retirement gracing the entrance to OLGR’s Licensing Department at 63 George Street.

Mike Sarquis
Executive Director
Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation

OLGR at this year's Australasian Hospitality and Gaming Expo, 29-30 March 2017

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) will be at this year’s Keno Australasian Hospitality and Gaming (AHG) Expo at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 29-30 March.

Our experienced and friendly senior licensing and compliance staff will be on hand at stand 91 to answer questions you may have on the regulation of liquor and gaming in Queensland.

This year we will also be distributing information on behalf of AUSTRAC, the Australian Government’s financial intelligence agency with regulatory responsibility for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing.

The expo is a great opportunity for members of the gaming industry to meet face-to-face with other members and key stakeholders and check out the latest ideas, products, trends and directions for the gaming and hospitality industries.

We look forward to seeing many of you there.

Brisbane licensee fined $15,000 and convicted

The licensee of a karaoke venue in Sunnybank was convicted and fined $15,000 in the Holland Park Magistrates Court in January for multiple offences under the Liquor Act 1992.

The licensee had placed the safety of patrons and staff at risk through non-compliance over 7 months.

Compliance officers from the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) identified a number of concerns when they visited the venue in October 2016. Despite making every effort to work with the licensee to achieve compliance, the same issues were found at follow-up inspections.

On multiple occasions the licensee was unable to provide copies of their staff members’ responsible service of alcohol certification, or their crowd controllers’ licences and qualifications.

CCTV equipment had also not been checked and certified by an appropriately qualified person and could not store recordings for the required amount of time. This meant that if an incident occurred in or around the premises the licensee would be unable to produce evidence of what had occurred.

In an initial visit, compliance officers also found a fire extinguisher without current certification and during follow-up inspections no initiative had been taken by the licensee to rectify this.

The licensee had shown a blatant disregard for the safety of his staff and patrons. The resulting enforcement action serves as a timely reminder to all licensees that OLGR has zero tolerance for this type of behaviour.

In most instances, compliance officers will work with the licensee to identify and manage issues of non-compliance and in many cases find licensees willing to rectify any concerns. In this case, OLGR was left with no choice but to take enforcement action.

Our Complying with liquor and gaming legislation refresher courses cover complying with CCTV, crowd controller and noise requirements, and knowing what to expect when a compliance officer visits.

Poker games or tournaments conducted outside a casino may be unlawful

If you hold poker games or tournaments at your licensed venue, you need to ensure they comply with legislative requirements.

Poker involving gambling may constitute an unlawful game under the Criminal Code Act 1899.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) is the primary agency responsible for administering the Criminal Code. The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) administers the Liquor Act, which prohibits unlawful gaming or betting at licensed venues. If unlawful games are identified at a licensed venue, OLGR and QPS work collaboratively to investigate.

Significant penalties can apply if you allow unlawful gaming or betting at your venue, including a maximum of 250 penalty units ($30,475) and/or suspension or cancellation of your liquor licence.

OLGR recommends you seek your own legal advice prior to conducting poker games or tournaments at your venue.

Go to Poker tournaments in Queensland to read more details.

It is illegal for minors to take part in Keno games

Minors are prohibited by law from playing or taking part in Keno games.

This means they’re not even permitted to ‘help Mum and Dad’ choose numbers or fill out their Keno entries.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has a Keno compliance sign online, which you can download and display at your venue.

You can refer to it whenever you need to remind patrons that they must not allow their children to take part in Keno games.

Download the Minors cannot play Keno sign here.

Minors cannot play Keno sign

New-look Business Queensland website launched

If you’ve been looking at the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation’s online content recently, you’ll be familiar with the change in our host website.

The Business Queensland website was launched on Thursday 2 February 2017 after months of development behind the scenes.

The website’s new look and feel is designed to improve your user experience through better layout, a lighter background, easier search and navigation, and optimal performance and responsiveness across multiple devices and browsers.

One great new feature of the website is customisation, which enables you to select your own preferences to make it faster and easier to find the information you need.

Once you complete the customisation process you will find that the quick links on the homepage are updated with content relevant to your interests. To turn customisation off, or change your customisation preferences is as easy as a click of a button. Just go to the ‘Customise this site’ button on the top right-hand corner if you want to use this option.

Business Queensland website customisation

We are confident you will find the new online layout a significant improvement to our old site.