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NSW’s Camden Hotel has been ordered to shut for two days from today for serving up to 20 beers to three boys aged under 18 who got involved in a brawl after leaving the venue.

The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) handed down the penalty for the incident in which the minors, aged 16 to 17, used other people’s ID to gain entry.

Camden Hotel’s website describes the venue as a “contemporary yet casual venue with a focus on always providing a fantastic experience, the Camden Hotel has become a local institution. Offering multiple bars & lounge areas with outstanding food and entertainment, Camden hotel is an award winning venue offering an experience for everybody.”

While security at the hotel had checked the boys’ photo IDs on entry, they failed to recognise they were in fact underage.

Once inside the hotel, the minors were served up to seven times over 4.5 hours and were not asked for ID at any stage. One boy also lost money on a gaming machine. After leaving the hotel, the minors were involved in a brawl and were subsequently arrested by police who needed to use capsicum spray to break it up.

ILGA’s two-day liquor licence suspension starts today, Monday 14 January. The Authority has also proposed to impose extra conditions on the hotel’s licence which include submitting a plan of management, extra responsible service of alcohol (RSA) training for all staff and specific requirements for keeping CCTV footage.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Operations, Sean Goodchild, said this incident showed the risks involved when minors gain access to licensed premises to drink.

“The sale of alcohol to minors greatly increases the risk of alcohol related harm occurring due to a minor’s inherent vulnerability and lack of both physical and psychological maturity – and in this case it resulted in three minors being involved in the brawl,” he said.

“Had it not been for the timely intervention by police, the young people involved in the brawl may have sustained serious injuries or worse.

“The lost revenue from the licence suspension should send a clear message to the industry that venues can face serious sanctions for selling alcohol to minors.”

Camden Hotel representatives have been contacted for comment.

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