This pages provides gambling and liquor rules and regulations for under 18s in Victoria.
Recreational use of alcohol and gambling is seen as a natural part of Australia's social culture. However, risks associated with gambling and liquor are much greater for minors. Risky behaviour often occurs when minors drink alcohol or gamble and can have both short and long term impacts.
Underage patrons on licensed premises - The legal drinking age in Victoria is 18 years of age. Depending on the situation, a minor be allowed on licensed premises or permitted to consume alcohol.
Proof of Age card - The Victorian Proof of Age card is used to verify a person's age when entering licensed premises.
When children become teenagers, they usually want to spend more time with their friends and may find themselves in places where others are drinking alcohol. The guide, Alcohol and your kids: A guide for parents and carers is available from the Australian Government's Department of Health website and gives parents information about how to discuss and manage teenagers and the use of alcohol.
Young people draw conclusions about alcohol-related social norms from what they see and hear from their families and communities. Parents should consider the physical and mental risks of supplying alcohol to minors and the penalties that may apply.
It is normal to be curious about alcohol, but if you are under 18, drinking alcohol is a health issue as well as a legal issue.
Alcohol is actually a depressant that slows down the central nervous system. In high doses, the short term effects include slurred speech, reduced coordination and unconsciousness. The long term effects of heavy consumption could be impairment of the brain and liver functions, and in some extreme cases, death.
The brain does not fully develop until the age of 25. Drinking before this time can have an effect on brain development that can lead to permanent brain damage and impair a young person's ability to learn and remember things. It can also pose a risk to the portion of the brain that is responsible for self-control and reasoning. Research shows that people who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop an alcohol dependency, compared to someone who does not drink until the age of 21.
Parents and carers are advised that young people under the age of 15 years are at greatest risk of harm from drinking and it is especially important that they do not drink alcohol. Young people aged 15-17 years should delay their first drink for as long as possible and even then, restrict their consumption to a safe level (one or two drinks) and consume them in a supervised environment.
The Victorian Government has passed the Liquor Control Reform Amendment Act 2011 (the Act). This Act makes it an offence under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 for a person to supply alcohol to a minor (a person under the age of 18 years) in a private home without parental consent.
This will help parents feel more assured when their children are visiting friends' houses that they are not drinking alcoholic beverages without their knowledge.
A person who supplies alcohol to a minor without a parent's consent could be subject to the same penalty faced by licensees who supply alcohol to minors in licensed venues - a maximum fine of more than $8,500.
More information is available in the Supplying alcohol to minors in a private home fact sheet (PDF, 232KB)
Gambling's not a game is a Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation youth engagement strategy that aims to engage young people, parents, schools, sporting clubs and the wider community about the influence that gambling has on young people.