The sale and enjoyment of alcohol is a component of many community clubs throughout the state. Licensing and regulation of the sale of alcohol and training licensed club staff are regulated by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC).
In general terms there are four types of liquor licences and permits available for clubs:
- Full club licence-supply liquor to a member on or off the premises, supply liquor to a guest of a member on premises.
- Restricted club licence-supply liquor to a member or guest of a member on premises.
- Renewable limited licence-supply liquor to a member or guest of a member on premises, supply liquor from a point of sale during sporting events outside the licensed premises.
- Temporary limited licence- to hold a one-off event, extend trading hours for a one-off event, or hold a series of events over a limited season.
- BYO permit-allow people to bring their own liquor and consume it on club premises.
CCV urges clubs holding a liquor licence to understand and comply with the considerable responsibilities in relation to licensed areas, more commonly referred to as the ‘red-line plan’.
The VCGLR has launched the Our Club: Licensee Responsibilities’ resource kit which has been designed to comprehensively guide Clubs through the compliance, reporting and regulatory framework that must be complied with when operating a Licensed Club.
This resource kit helps licensed clubs gain a clearer understanding of their liquor and gaming compliance and legal obligations, including information on the responsible service of alcohol, community or charitable minor gaming activities and the requirements for operating gaming machines.
Each section of the Our Club: Licensee Responsibilities resource kit is also available online, so that club committee members can download, print and review changes to legislation.
If members have any queries regarding their Liquor Licence they should contact VGCCC or the CCV office.
Clubs wishing to amend their licence may do so Online or utilise experts in the field such as CCV Partners, Wisewould Mahony Lawyers (Ben Hibbert 03 9612 7348) or BSPN Lawyers (Elizabeth Priddle 03 9670 0722).
Liquor licensing requirements stipulate that clubs must keep and maintain at least two registers:
- Members’ register (all clubs).
- must contain members residential address.
- last membership payment details.
- members are not required to sign in each time they use the club.
- Guest register (all clubs).
- should contain the date, guests name and residential address.
- name of the member of whom they are a guest.
- guests must sign in each time they visit the club.
- Gaming visitors’ register (gaming venues only).
Alterations to Club Liquor Licence
From time to time clubs may need to alter their existing liquor licence and this can only be done with the appropriate planning and licensing permissions. The types of changes that may be considered include amending trading hours, altering patron numbers, or varying the red-line plan in a premise.
To avoid confusion, CCV recommends that any change that may impact your liquor licence should be discussed with VCGLR, who can be contacted on 1300 182 457.
Club Nominee and Committee Managed Licences
There are some good reasons to consider retaining a single Club nominee for your club’s Liquor Licence. Please refer to the Fact Sheet below.
Responsible Service of Alcohol
Currently, it is only compulsory to have a RSA certificate if you work in premises with a packaged, general or on-premises liquor licence, or in a venue with a condition contained within its liquor licence requiring the employment of RSA trained staff, or when you are applying for a new liquor licence.
Clubs with gaming machines are also required to ensure that only staff who have completed their Responsible Service of Alcohol training serve alcohol in the licensed gaming areas.
CCV believes that all clubs who serve alcohol should consider a similar minimum standard for all staff, whether they have gaming or not, as a matter of good business practice.
Effective 18 July, 2018 -with respect to RSA Certificates it is no longer mandatory for licensees to maintain an RSA register, however CCV recommends that from a management perspective continuing to maintain such a register assists in keeping track of due dates for staff training refreshers and to demonstrate that you are professional in managing your team’s duties and responsibilities to ensuring a pro-active approach to RSA.
Display of Required Signage
Licensed premises are required to display signage that explains to patrons, the licensee’s obligations regarding service to minors, intoxicated persons, etc.
The Signage Requirements link details information concerning the type and location of relevant liquor signage requirements.
Traditionally, the VGCCC has printed and mailed copies of the relevant posters to all licensees, however these posters are now available via the VGCCC website to download. While the VGCCC will continue to provide mandatory signage for new licensees, they no longer automatically mail out updated posters to licensees and permittees.
The printing requirements include:
- Posters must be printed in the original form as downloaded from the VCGLR website. No modification to the form or content of the posters is permitted.
- Posters must be printed in colour on A4 (210 x 297mm) paper.
- Posters must be printed at a sufficient quality to ensure that the keycode (located at the bottom left-hand corner) is clearly legible by VCGLR inspectors.
- Posters must be displayed so that the information contained in them is clearly visible to the public.
Contact the VGCCC on 1300 182 457 or [email protected] for more information.
Acceptable Forms of ID
The Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 details acceptable forms of ID that Licensees and staff may accept as proof of age. These are:
- Australian driver licence.
- Victorian learner permit.
- Proof of age card or an equivalent from another Australian state or territory.
- Keypass card.
- Australian or foreign passport.
If fake ID is presented or the person is pretending to be someone else of legal age, the ID (except for a driver licence) should be confiscated and handed over to the police.
Alcohol advertising within 150 metres of a school is prohibited.
Licensees are not permitted to supply liquor to persons under 18 years of age for consumption on licensed premises.
Details on Underage Drinking can be found here.
There are guidelines and standards to follow when promoting or advertising liquor. Some drink promotions can encourage excessive or irresponsible consumption of alcohol.
The guidelines are set out by the VGCCC who have the power to ban promotions or advertisements deemed inappropriate and they may also vary, suspend, or cancel a licence that is found to be encouraging irresponsible consumption of alcohol.
Details on the responsible alcohol advertising and promotions can be found here.
Liquor and Functions
The VGCCC has developed a set of safe function guidelines to support licensees holding functions, such as weddings, birthdays, award nights or other special events.
The guidelines set out licensee’s legal obligations as well as providing guidance on recommended best practice for events. The guidelines cover topics such as Responsible Service of Alcohol, minors, security and other areas.
Liquor licensing, banning and barring customers
CCV represents member clubs on several government-industry consultation bodies. One such body is the Liquor Licensing Compliance and Enforcement working group where guidance notes were produced concerning banning. A helpful document was provided by this group, which outlines in detail the various levels of barring and banning powers available under Victorian law to licensees, Victoria Police, local Liquor Accords, and Victoria’s courts.
We are often asked to clarify issues around disorderly members and whether members’ rights under Club Rules carry more weight than the duty of a licensee to maintain good order for the quiet enjoyment of licensed premises by all. The above-mentioned document provides a helpful summary regarding each level of the barring/ banning powers.
Barring problem customers: Licensee need to be aware of their responsibilities not to allow drunk, violent or quarrelsome persons to enter or remain on their licensed premises. This page provides information on banning or barring patron.