Major reform to liquor and gaming laws in New South Wales

As of 1 February 2016, the Gaming and Liquor Administration Amendment Act 2015 and the Gaming and Liquor Administration Amendment (Review of Delegated Decisions) Regulation 2016 have commenced, bringing a range of new provisions into New South Wales’ liquor and gaming laws.

The purpose of the reforms was to create a single authority for liquor and gaming industries in New South Wales in order to improve transparency, flexibility and efficiency. By establishing Liquor and Gaming New South Wales, a regulatory body within the Department of Justice that absorbs many of the functions previously performed by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing and the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, the NSW Government hopes to deliver a superior service. 

The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority will continue to determine liquor and gaming licences and disciplinary matters but will delegate more routine, less contentious and higher volume decisions to Liquor and Gaming New South Wales. The functions of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing have all but been absorbed by Liquor and Gaming New South Wales, who are now responsible for compliance and enforcement.

An additional amendment will give the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal the power to review some decisions made by the Independent Gaming and Liquor Authority from 1 March 2016.

The types of decisions that will be able to be reviewed by NCAT include:

  1. The granting or removal of a:

    1. Small Bar licence;
    2. An on premises licence for a restaurant;
    3. An on premises licence for a karaoke bar, a catering service or a vessel;
    4. A producer or wholesaler licence application that includes an application for a drink on premises application; or
  2. An application to extend the trading hours past midnight for those types of licences listed above. 

The amendment will allow those aggrieved by the decisions of the Authority to access a low cost, efficient, and informal means of review within 28 days of a decision being handed down.

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