By Andrew Starke

The NSW Government has warned unlicensed alcohol delivery operators that they risk prosecution and having their vehicles and liquor seized with two high-profile operators facing fines and other charges.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality, Racing and the Arts, George Souris, said the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) and police would continue to target unlicensed operators who are increasingly using social media sites to advertise alcohol deliveries 24 hours a day.

Souris said a series of covert operations involving undercover inspectors and police has resulted in enforcement action against two operators for the alleged unlicensed sale of alcohol and the seizing of a car and liquor.

“Unlicensed operators increase the risk of alcohol being supplied irresponsibly and falling into the hands of minors,” Souris said.

“Under NSW liquor laws the sale of liquor without a licence is against the law, with a maximum penalty of $11,000 and 12 months imprisonment.

“There are limited exemptions for legitimate businesses delivering gifts such as flowers and food accompanied with a bottle of wine.”

Souris said covert operations – where undercover liquor inspectors have placed phone orders and taken delivery of quantities of beer, spirits and wine – have shown that these operators are not legitimate gift businesses.

“They are not delivering gifts – they are simply delivering alcohol with a packet of chips or popcorn and it is happening in the early hours of the morning,” he said.

“Unlicensed alcohol delivery operators are illegal and we will ensure that they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

A covert operation by OLGR inspectors on June 25 at Kings Cross resulted in the issuing of $4,840 in fines to two 22-year-old men from Glebe – alleged operators of the Blind Pig and the Beer Baron – for unlicensed sale of alcohol and associated offences.

Further operations on July 10 at Randwick and July 24 at Camperdown will result in court prosecution of the man allegedly operating the Blind Pig, for unlicensed sale of alcohol and other offences on two further occasions.

The man’s vehicle and a substantial quantity of beer, spirits and wine were also seized.

“While this is not a widespread problem, OLGR and police will continue to crack down on these unlicensed operators,” Souris said.

“My department will continue to examine advertising and marketing including the use of viral marketing and social media networks to identify anyone breaking the liquor laws.

”We will also examine existing legislation and if we think it needs tightening up then that’s exactly what we’ll do.”


The Shout Team

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

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