Liquor and Gaming NSW compliance officers have started a blitz across the state to ensure venues are COVID-safe and those participating in the NSW Government’s Dine & Discover program are complying with its rules.
Dine & Discover vouchers can only be used at eligible businesses that have implemented a COVID Safety Plan and are registered as COVID Safe. Liquor & Gaming Director of Compliance Dimitri Argeres said that while most businesses are doing the right thing with the program, compliance officers will visit venues where there is intentional misuse of Dine & Discover vouchers.
Compliance officers will be out undercover conducting inspections across different venues throughout NSW, with strong penalties in place for breaching COVID requirements, including fines of up to $5000 and venue closures for repeat offending.
“A key part of compliance for hospitality businesses is the requirement customers sign in using the Service NSW QR code,” Argeres said.
“Now is not the time to get complacent, the COVID safety requirements are in place for a reason, and all venues need to make sure they are fully compliant.”
The other major aspect of the compliance operation is ensuring participants are fulfilling the other terms and conditions of the program.
“This includes not artificially inflating prices or allowing customers to use the vouchers to buy restricted products,” Argeres said.
Businesses cannot accept vouchers as payment for alcohol, gambling, or tobacco.
Service NSW Executive Director, Mandy Young, said the rollout of the Dine & Discover scheme had been positively received, with 3,933,561 vouchers redeemed, and 94 per cent of customers giving their experience a thumbs up.
“We are committed to making Dine & Discover NSW accessible to all eligible residents so they can go out, dine out and enjoy local attractions and activities safely,” Young said.
Those businesses found to have breached the terms and conditions may face suspension or deregistration from the Dine & Discover scheme, and where appropriate recovery of funds may be sought.
The inspection campaign runs until 30 June 2021. The conditions of the NSW Government’s Dine & Discover program can be found on the Service NSW website.