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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the independent statutory authority that regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries.

Our vision is that Victorians and visitors enjoy safe and responsible gambling and liquor environments.
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Obligations for major events

If you apply for a major event licence, you have certain obligations to abide by.

What is a major event licence?

A major event licence applies to events that are likely to have a significant impact, such as those:
•    where you expect a large crowd to attend (over 5000 patrons)
•    requiring significant regulatory enforcement effort or oversight
•    having a significant impact on the provision and organisation of public transport or emergency services
•    having a significant impact on public safety and/or the amenity of the area in which the event is to be held.
 

Licensee's obligations

Responsible Service of Alcohol

You must not supply alcohol to a person who is intoxicated.

A person is intoxicated if you believe their speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is noticeably affected by alcohol. If they’re intoxicated, they are allowed to stay on your premises but you must not serve them any more alcohol. The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) has guidelines on how to determine if a person is in a state of intoxication. See Intoxication guidelines.

You must not allow a drunken or disorderly person to be at your event.

There is a difference between a person being intoxicated and being drunk. A person would typically be regarded as drunk if they are intoxicated to the point where they have lost control of their faculties or behaviour. If they’re drunk OR disorderly you must not let them into the event and if they’re already there you MUST remove them.

Free drinking water

You are required to make suitable free drinking water available to patrons attending the event where alcohol is consumed on-site. The law does not specify how the water is to be provided. This will be up to your own discretion. The VCGLR has a poster promoting free water to either download, print and display or a high-resolution file of the poster to display on digital screens.

Minors at events

A person under 18 years of age is not permitted on a licensed premises unless there is a condition listed on the licence approved by the VCGLR, or the minor is:

  • with a responsible adult
  • having a meal
  • employed by the licensee but not involved in the supply of alcohol
  • completing a training program in hospitality.

A responsible adult is defined as a person who is over 18 years and who is:

  • the younger person’s parent, step-parent, guardian or grandparent
  • the younger person’s spouse
  • a person who is acting in place of a parent and who could reasonably be expected to exercise responsible supervision of the younger person.

You must not allow people under 18 years to drink alcohol under any circumstances. You must not allow people under 18 years to be involved in the supply of alcohol.

If you are allowing minors at a major event where liquor is supplied, clear measures to ensure identification at the point of sale should be implemented. Measures could include:

  • secluded area for liquor supply
  • wrist band identification
  • ID check at all liquor points.
Amenity and crowd management

Amenity is defined as the quality that an area has of being pleasant and agreeable. The amenity of an area can be made worse by:

  • unacceptable levels of patron noise, including music
  • parking problems
  • excessive traffic
  • nuisance or vandalism
  • build-up of rubbish
  • indecent or offensive behaviour
  • drunkenness on the street.

You have a legal responsibility to ensure the operation of your event does not detract from the amenity of the area.

Implement voluntary safety measures

It is encouraged for you to go beyond the legal requirements of your licence and make a voluntary commitment to introduce a plan aimed at minimising harm to improve patron, staff and community safety for your major event.

Possible measures include:

 

  • replace glass with plastic
  • adopt pre-ticketing to an event
  • improve risk-management – e.g. hire more crowd controllers than specified on your liquor licence
  • designate multiple Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) officers wearing marked ‘Responsible Service of Alcohol Officer’ shirts
  • offer food at the event
  • actively promote the provision of free drinking water to patrons and low alcohol drinks
  • availability of first aid
  • when patrons are leaving, display posters such as ‘quiet please – respect the neighbourhood’ around the event
  • focus on amenity – clean up outdoor surrounds after trading has concluded and patrons have left the immediate area.
Training

Licensees and staff involved in the supply of alcohol need to complete a RSA training course approved by the VCGLR.

RSA certificates need to be refreshed every three years for each individual employee.

Specific conditions on your licence

As well as your general obligations, you will have conditions listed on your licence that are directed specifically at your event. You need to comply with these conditions or you will be committing an offence.

Trading hours

You must not supply alcohol outside the trading hours that are listed on your licence. Your customers can take 30 minutes to finish their drinks after the closing time but you can’t give them any more alcohol during this time.

Events where gaming is provided

If gaming is available at a major event, such as sporting events, the licensee must have established procedures to ensure:

  • gaming signage, player information materials and signs about underage patrons are displayed in the gaming area
  • have an allocated gaming area that is monitored by staff to identify and interact with any patrons displaying indicators of a gambling problem, any self-excluded persons and any underage or intoxicated patrons
  • that gaming industry employees must not knowingly allow a person who is intoxicated to gamble or bet on the premises.
Display of licence

Your current licence must be displayed at all times in an obvious place where anybody can read the conditions.

If gaming is provided at your event a copy of the notice of approved venue must be publicly displayed either at the entrance to or the boundary of the gaming area or adjacent to the cashier’s station.

Serious penalties apply

The obligations that come with holding a liquor licence are taken very seriously by the Victorian Government.

People who are licensed to sell alcohol are required to meet their obligations under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 and any specific licence conditions.

While this guide is a starting point, it is your responsibility to make sure you are aware of all your responsibilities. If you do not comply with your licence conditions and obligations under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 you may face enforcement action by the VCGLR or Victoria Police. Inspectors from

the VCGLR and Victoria Police officers can issue warnings, infringement notices (fines) or recommend disciplinary action for licensees who fail to comply.

Page last modified 
5 February 2019