Liquor and Gaming News - July 2020

TASMANIAN LIQUOR AND GAMING NEWS

July 2020

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​​ADMINISTRATIVE ALERTS

​​Being COVID safe

The gradual lifting of the coronavirus public health restrictions is certainly welcome. All liquor, gaming and wagering premises are now operating under Stage 3 restrictions and can begin to recover from the significant impact of the virus, while remaining vigilant about density, distancing and hygiene requirements.

So what should a COVID safe environment look like in licensed premises? The following key points will be of help. The information is also available on the Liquor and Gaming Branch website.

  • The usual regulatory requirements apply. Checklists are available for liquor and for gaming and wagering.
  • Public health rules must be observed for gatherings and physical distancing, with additional requirements depending on the type of premises. Q&As are available on being COVID safe.
  • Have a COVID-19 safety plan in place based on the COVID Safe Workplace Guidelines for hospitality and gambling. To find out more, check WorkSafe Tasmania online, get in touch by email or phone 1300 366 322.
  • Prioritise duty of care to your patrons. Some patrons may now be at a greater risk of harm from gambling or from intoxication. Others may wish to reduce the time they spend in premises or not return at all. You can help by directing them to the following support websites and/or issue an exclusion from gambling at your venue:
  • Promotions that encourage excessive consumption of alcohol are not permitted.
  • ​Only seated service is allowed in Stage 3, which means no dancing, pool or darts.

Compliance inspectors will be undertaking compliance and enforcement activities in relation to liquor and gaming regulations. 

The Branch is here to help. Staff are progressively returning to the Hobart and Launceston offices, although reception counters remain closed.

Stay informed by visiting the Branch website, which is being updated regularly to include a summary of the latest public health restrictions for premises. During the transition back to the office, email is still the best way to contact us licensing@treasury.tas.gov.au or gaming@treasury.tas.gov.au. 

​​Temporary special permits for the sale of takeaway liquor with takeaway food

A support measure for restaurants and cafes during the COVID‑19 closure period was to grant permits that allowed the temporary sale of liquor with a takeaway meal. These permits were provided to businesses who ordinarily sold liquor with a dine-in meal. Fortunately restrictions have eased significantly, meaning operators can begin to recover and return to normal in-house operations. Most of the permits will expire between September and November 2020. If you were granted a temporary special permit, please check the expiry date and ensure you cease takeaway sales once the permit expires.

​​No fee increase in 2020-2021

As part of the Tasmanian Government's COVID‑19 support measures, all fees and charges subject to the Fee Units Act 1997 will not be indexed in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 2020‑21 financial year. Instead, they will remain at the 2019-20 level where the fee unit value is $1.62.

This means that there will be no increase to liquor and gaming fees during the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. The Liquor Fees and Gaming Fees schedules are available on the Liquor and Gaming website.

​​Responsible service and consumption of alcohol

With COVID‑19 restrictions being significantly eased, liquor licensees and permit holders are reminded of the responsible service of alcohol requirements of the Liquor Licensing Act 1990. Alcohol must be sold and consumed in a way that supports responsible service and consumption principles. All staff must hold a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certification from an approved Registered Training Organisation, and advertising or promotion that is likely to encourage irresponsible consumption of alcohol can be banned or restricted. Here is further information on undesirable advertising and how to reduce the risk of promotions.

​​Leeway for RCG accreditation for Special Employee's Licence holders

Due to the closure of gambling venues associated with COVID-19 restrictions, the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission determined that some leeway was appropriate to address the implications for special employee's licence conditions for Responsible Conduct of Gambling accreditation falling due.

Existing licensed special employees with an expiring RCG accreditation during the period 15 March to 31 July 2020 will have six months longer from their RCG expiry date to comply with the RCG accreditation requirement.

Consequently, no disciplinary action will be taken against an employer if a special employee's RCG accreditation expires during the above period. However, it is strongly encouraged that employees in this situation obtain RCG reaccreditation through a Commission approved Registered Training Organisation (TasTAFE or Express Online Training) as soon as practicable.

There is no change to the requirement for new Special Employee's licence holders to complete the RCG accreditation within 90 days of the granting of a provisional licence, even when this occurs during the above period.

PLEASE NOTE          The Responsible Gambling Mandatory Code of Practice for Tasmania continues to apply and employers must ensure that at least one individual who has completed the RCG course must be on duty at all times, in each area where electronic gaming machines operate.

Should you have any queries or require any further information, please contact the Liquor and Gaming Branch by email gaming@treasury.tas.gov.au.

​​Confirming council approval

The Liquor and Gaming Branch has received a number of queries about how council approvals interact with the authority of a liquor licence or permit.

It is very important that liquor licence and permit holders understand that holding a liquor licence or permit does not allow you to trade if you do not have the necessary council approvals, for example, hours to operate or business activity being conducted at the premises. In fact, trading without the correct council approvals may breach the Liquor Licensing Act 1990.

To assist licensees and permit holders, the Branch is currently working with the metropolitan councils to check existing council approvals for premises. We will contact licence/permit holders where we identify any mismatch with their council approval. In the meantime, for permit renewals, we are issuing permits as they arise with a condition that the permit holder operates as per council requirements.

We recommend that an applicant commences the permit process earlier than the minimum seven day timeframe to allow sufficient time to establish if the other regulatory approvals are in place.

​​Requirement to notify regulators of change

To avoid missing liquor or gambling notifications, licence renewals or invoices, it is important to ensure your contact details are kept up to date. If you hold a current licence or permit issued under the Liquor Licence Act 1990, or under the Gaming Control Act 1993, you must notify the relevant regulator within 14 days of any of the following events taking place:

Liquor Licensing (Section 49 Notice)

  1. Change of name of the licensee or permit holder, or any of their associates.
  2. Change of postal address, registered office address, telephone number, or email address of the licensee or permit holder.
  3. Change of postal address, telephone number, or email address of any associates of the licensee or permit holder.
  4. Addition of a person who has become an associate of the licensee or permit holder.
  5. The licensee or permit holder is found guilty of an offence (excluding traffic offences for which the maximum penalty is limited to a fine only) in Tasmania or any other jurisdiction, whether or not a conviction is recorded.
  6. An associate of the licensee or permit holder is found guilty of an offence (excluding traffic offences for which the maximum penalty is limited to a fine only) in Tasmania or any other jurisdiction, whether or not a conviction is recorded.
  7. The licensee or permit holder, or any of their associates becomes a bankrupt or enters into an arrangement or composition with the associate's or person's creditors under the Bankruptcy Act 1966.
For further information regarding liquor, including the definition of an associate, refer to the fact sheet: Notifying the Commissioner of a change in situation.
Gambling Licensing (Section 161 Notice)
  1. Removal of a person who was an associate or addition of a person who has become an associate of the licence holder or person listed on the Roll (manufacturers/suppliers/testers).
  2. Change of name of the licence holder or person listed on the Roll, or any of their associates.
  3. Change of postal address, registered office address, telephone number or email address of the licence holder or person listed on the Roll.
  4. Change of details of the nominated contact person for receipt of notices or correspondence from the Commission.
  5. Change of residential or postal address, telephone number or email address of an associate of the licence holder or person listed on the Roll.
  6. Change in corporate structure of the licence holder or a person listed on the Roll.
  7. The charge or conviction with any offence (excluding traffic offences for which the maximum penalty is limited to a fine only) in Tasmania or any other jurisdiction of the licence holder or person listed on the Roll or any of their associates.
  8. The disqualification of a director of the licence holder or person listed on the Roll under any provision of current or previous Corporations Law (or overseas equivalent).
  9. The grant or refusal of a licence, or the taking of disciplinary action, by any other gambling regulatory authority of the licence holder or person listed on the Roll, or any of their associates.
  10. The licence holder or person listed on the Roll or any of their associates becomes a bankrupt or enters into an arrangement or composition with the associate's or person's creditors under the Bankruptcy Act 1966.
Please be sure to immediately notify the Branch if any of the events outlined above have taken place via email to licensing@treasury.tas.gov.au, or phone (03) 6166 4040 (Hobart) or (03) 6777 2777 (Launceston). 

 

​​REGULATORY NEWS

​​Amendments to Regulations

The Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission has amended the Mandatory Code of Practice and relevant Commission Rules. These came into effect on 1 March 2020. The amendments, summarised below, were implemented to provide clarity for existing requirements.

​​​​New access to cash measure

The Commission, after considering the intent of the access to cash provisions, determined to introduce a new measure under the Mandatory Code with regard to cashless technology. Bank deposits, electronic funds transfers and similar digital payments must not be accepted from customers for gambling purposes. This amendment ensures customers are only able to access additional funds through typical withdrawal methods such as ATMs and EFTPOS, which have withdrawal limitations.

​​​​Defined area around TAB self-service terminals

A minor amendment has been made to the Tasmanian Gaming Licence Commission Rules to prescribe the area of the 'buffer zone' around TAB self-service terminals. The buffer zone must be, at a minimum, 1.5m x 1.5m. This size is consistent with current practice.

The Mandatory Code and Commission Rules are available here.

​​How to legally conduct a Last Man Standing raffle

It has been brought to our attention that a number of organisations have been conducting 'Last Man Standing' raffles (sometimes called a 'Reverse Draw' raffle) that do not comply with the Rules for Raffles issued under the Gaming Control Act 1993. In these instances the organisers have been drawing the lowest ranked prize first, with the highest ranked prize being drawn last.

To comply with the Act and the Rules for Raffles, all prizes must be drawn in order, with the highest ranked prize being drawn first. For example:

  • 1st prize value $3 500
  • 2nd prize value $3 000
  • 3rd prize value $2 500; and
  • Subsequent minor prizes to follow
If an organisation wishes to conduct a Last Man Standing Raffle, the highest ranked prize must be drawn first, without divulging the winner's details. Those in attendance are to be informed at that time that the ticket drawn is for the first prize. The drawn ticket should then be located in an inaccessible but conspicuous position, with the back of the ticket on display so the winner's details are not visible. The same process then continues with the next highest ranked prize and so on, until all prizes listed in the raffle have been drawn.

IMPORTANT           During the function when the raffle prize winners are announced, the organiser has the discretion of revealing the names of the prize winners in any order they choose. This is because those attending were previously informed that the tickets were drawn for all prizes in the correct order, from highest ranked to lowest ranked.

Other random prizes may be drawn during the event and the winners announced at the time they are drawn. This only applies to prizes that are not listed as part of the raffle.

PLEASE NOTE        Raffles with a prize value exceeding $5 000 require a minor gaming permit.

A minor gaming permit application form is available here. Any raffle with total prizes valued under $5 000 must still comply with the Rules for Raffles.

 

​​Attention sporting clubs - a word from Good Sports

It has been a challenging time for sporting clubs across Tasmania and Good Sports is committed to continuing to work with clubs to support your Good Sports activities during this period. Clubs will form an integral part of re-building resilience in the community, but you are not expected to do it alone.

Now is an opportune time to:

  • Use social media: Reach out to your community. Visit the Good Sports Using Social Media page (follow the Good Sports Facebook page for stories, new resources and inspiration for what you can share online).
  • Check your policies are up to date: Take the time to liaise with your Good Sports Relationship Manager to develop or review your club's alcohol and other drugs policies and procedures.
  • Consider the Good Sports Healthy Minds program: Now more than ever, clubs can be supporting their members' mental wellbeing by having open and inclusive conversations about mental health. Your Good Sports Relationship Manager can work with your club through the Good Sports Healthy Minds program using tools and resources to enhance and support positive mental health. 
Get in touch with your Good Sports Relationship Manager:
  • Shae Collis (North/North West Tasmania) shae.collis@adf.org.au
  • ​Hugh Graham (Southern Tasmania) hugh.graham@adf.org.au
​For more information, please visit the website at www.goodsports.com.au.
Daniel Vautin
Acting State Manager Vic/Tas
Alcohol Drug Foundation 

 

​​​DISCIPLINARY ACTION

​Disciplinary action taken by the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission November 2019 – June 2020

Licence holderSection of ActBreachOutcome

Grassroots Café Pty Ltd

(Crown Inn)

112S(1)(h)Licence holder affected by control action under the Corporations ActLicence cancelled
Nathan Cooney

2.3.1

94(1)

Playing keno at the venue of employment and extending credit to himselfLicence suspended for six months
Benjamin Berry

2.3.1

94(1)

Playing keno at the venue of employment and extending credit to himselfLicence suspended for one month
UBET TAS Pty Ltd92(2)
Radio advertisements without the required responsible gambling messageLetter of censure

Jubco Pty Ltd, Wyscan Pty Ltd, New Norfolk Hotels Pty Ltd and Noxid Pty Ltd

(Central Hobart Hotel)

50(2)Unlicensed person performing the functions of a special employeeFined $1 304
Erin Clark2.3.1Playing keno at the venue of employmentLetter of censure
John Howlett2.3.1Playing keno at the venue of employmentLetter of censure
Linda Harriss2.3.1Playing keno at the venue of employmentLetter of censure

Australian National Hotels Pty Ltd

(Wrest Point Hotel Casino)

92(2)Premium player program ATM usage by a non-memberLetter of censure

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​​Disciplinary action taken by the Commissioner for Licensing November 2019 – June 2020

Licence holderSection of ActBreachOutcome

Michelle Roberts

(MODE Bar and Niteclub)

65Allow persons to remain on licensed premises when unauthorised to do soFined $815

Benjamin Hickey

(Mobius)

46CSale and consumption of liquor on the licensed premises caused the occurrence of disorderly conduct in the premises and in the neighbourhood of the premisesConditions imposed on out of hours permit and hours reduced

Lee Green

(Greens Hotel)

5 Sell except as authorised Fined $840

Lee Green

(Greens Hotel)

65Allow persons to remain on licensed premises when unauthorized to do soFined $336

 

​​Decisions made by the Commissioner for Licensing

The Commissioner for Licensing is responsible for the determination of liquor licence applications in accordance with the Liquor Licensing Act 1990, to make decisions that are in the best interests of the community. Details of the Commissioner's most recent decisions are available on the Liquor and Gaming website.

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