The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) has banned a series of State of Origin themed promotions by licensed venues after they were deemed as likely to encourage risky and excessive drinking.

OLGR has served notices under the Liquor Act to five separate venues ordering them to cease promotions suspected of encouraging the misuse and abuse of alcohol.

OLGR director of compliance Paul Newson said major events like the NRL State of Origin should not be used as an excuse by licensees to encourage excessive drinking.

'Licensees and their staff are required by law to maintain responsible attitudes and practices regarding the promotion, sale and service of alcohol and any promotions found to encourage irresponsible, rapid or excessive drinking will face banning notices and the threat of $5,500 fines if licensees persist,' Mr Newson said.

State of Origin promotions targeted by OLGR include:

  • The Oxford Bathurst – a Facebook promotion offering $1 Tooheys New and $2 Heineken schooners from kick-off until half time, a chance to win a round of drinks for 10 mates, and an image of about 40 beer kegs with the message 'kegs all delivered and ready to pour TONIGHT'. Earlier this month The Oxford Bathurst was named on the NSW Violent Venues List after recording 12 violent incidents in 2012, yet the venue has also pushed its State of Origin promotion with an advertisement featuring a violent photo from game one when Blues skipper Paul Gallen punched the Maroons' Nate Myles.
  • Shellharbour Links – a Facebook promotion advertising prizes of 100 schooners or 25 bottles of wine, including the message 'no doubt he (schooner winner) will have a few mates helping him to drink them come Origin night here at Links'.
  • Bangalow Bowling & Sports Club – a promotion offering free Coopers beer from 7.30pm until first points are scored and half price drinks until full-time.
  • Mary G's in Lismore – a Facebook promotion offering refunds on all drinks if Jarryd Hayne scored the first try. A trivia night promotion promised patrons to 'Win enough and you won't have to pay for a drink all night!'
  • Yamba Shores Tavern – a Facebook promotion advertising free beer from kick-off until first points are awarded.

Newson said alcohol promotions can have a significant influence on the way people drink and behave in licensed premises so it is important they are conducted responsibly to avoid drunkenness, violence, anti-social behaviour, and other harm.

"Each case must be considered on its merits, however, alcohol promotions generally considered as posing an unacceptable risk include drink discounts of 50 per cent or more, more than one free drink, alcohol offered as prizes, and promotions that can encourage patrons to stockpile drinks," he said.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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