IMPORTANT NOTICE: A Declared State of Disaster is currently in place across Victoria. For more information, see: COVID-19 information for licensees
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 may be allowed on licensed premises but under no circumstances is the supply liquor to persons under 18 years of age (minors) for consumption on licensed premises permitted.
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 legislation over the years to amend the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 and the supply of alcohol to a minor.
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.These laws ensure that parents and legal guardians are involved in the way in which their child is supplied with alcohol in a private home. A parent or legal guardian may give verbal or written consent for a person to supply alcohol to their child.
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.
Under the Liquor and Gambling Legislation Amendment Act 2018, an adult (i.e., a person over 18 who is the parent, guardian or spouse of the minor, or who is authorised to supply liquor to the minor by the minor’s parent, guardian or spouse) can only supply liquor to
a minor in a residence if they can demonstrate responsible supervision of the supply of liquor.
Factors to be considered when determining whether responsible supervision has been demonstrated include:
More information on this restriction is available in the FAQs for changes to the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998.
Love the 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.
Transcript for minors and alcohol on a licensed premises audio.