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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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
A responsible adult is defined as a person who is over 18 years and who is:
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:
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:
You have a legal responsibility to ensure the operation of your event does not detract from the amenity of the area.
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:
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.
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.
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.
If gaming is available at a major event, such as sporting events, the licensee must have established procedures to ensure:
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.
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.