OLGR Update June 2009
Welcome to the June 2009 edition of the OLGR Update – the first completely online version of the regular newsletter.
The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) is endeavouring to become more digital, tech-savvy and web-friendly. In addition to the new web-based OLGR Update, licensees will soon be able to pay their liquor licence fees online as OLGR launches an online fee payment portal next month to coincide with the 2009-10 fee deadline. Licensees can fast track their fee payment using the convenient and secure online system from July.
There are many advantages to having a purely online newsletter – one is the ability to allow OLGR to lead readers directly to pages within our website. In April 2009 the liquor licence search function was officially unveiled. The popular resource tool has made its return to the OLGR website, allowing website users to search for general information about licensed premises according to name, licence type or postcode.
Another tech-savvy concept, also featured in this newsletter, is the card-based gaming trials which allow patrons to set time or monetary limits on their electronic gaming machine play. The pre-commitment trials have now concluded and OLGR has approved the system for further roll-outs over the next year to clubs who wish to participate.
Another significant change is that OLGR is now part of the newly formed Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) following the Queensland election in March 2009. The change in department will not change the services provided by OLGR to the liquor and gaming industries and wider community, however, as part of these changes, it has been determined that the Office of Racing will not be integrated into the remainder of the office as originally intended.
I look forward to working with the new Minister for liquor and gaming, Peter Lawlor MP and thank Treasurer Andrew Fraser MP for his support over the past few years.
The six months since the liquor reform launch date of 1 January 2009 has seen a significant amount of effort go into implementation of the amended legislation which introduced a licence type and fee restructure, annual liquor licence fees, and changes to trading hours and training requirements. These changes are aimed at transforming Queensland’s drinking culture and seek to reduce alcohol-related harm in and around licensed premises.
The commitment and assistance shown by industry to date through the Liquor Consultative Committee has been encouraging. The committee comprises representatives from Clubs Queensland, the Queensland Hotels Association, Restaurant and Catering Queensland and Cabarets Queensland, as well as OLGR executives. The consultative committee has been successful in not only providing a channel for communication between industry and government contributing to a smoother transition to the new regulatory framework, it has also provided an avenue for OLGR to receive feedback from licensees.
Improvements to self-assessment form
As with the introduction of any new regulatory change, it is important to consider and act on feedback from all parties involved, and identify and address areas for improvement.
Following important feedback from licensees and the liquor industry, improvements have been made to the annual self-assessment fee form. Major changes include a clear definition of licence categories and the ability to provide licensees with a partially populated self-assessment form.
The next ‘request for payment of fees’ will include a self-assessment form which has your licence type, base fee and trading hours pre-populated – to minimise confusion and lead to a more streamlined fee payment process.
Online payments from 1 July 2009
A ‘request for payment of fees’ notice will be sent to all licensees in late June 2009 with fee payments due by 31 July 2009.
In addition to previously available payment options (phone, fax, mail and over counter), OLGR has now set up an online credit card payment facility. This online payment facility is for credit card payments of less than $10,000 and can be utilised between 1-31 July 2009 for payment of 2009-10 financial year liquor licence fees.
Detailed instructions on payment options will be included in the ‘request for payment of fees’ notice, which will include a partially populated self-assessment table and a unique user ID and password to access the online payment facility should you wish to use this option.
Other payment options for 2009-10 financial year fees include:
• phone: call 07 3872 0835 and have your credit card and assessment form ready
• fax: complete the credit card payment advice form on the OLGR website and fax the advice form together with your completed assessment form to 07 3872 0863
• mail: send your completed assessment form together with a cheque payable to:
Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing
Locked Bag 180
CITY EAST QLD 4002
• in person: click here (www.olgr.qld.gov.au/aboutUs/contact.shtml) for your nearest OLGR office.
Please be advised that if payment for your liquor licence is not received by 31 July 2009 your licence will be automatically suspended under the provisions of the Liquor Act 1992.
OLGR’s card-based trials have now concluded, and the office intends to monitor and evaluate additional roll-outs once a large number of venues have taken up the technology.
This harm minimisation concept allows players to pre-commit losses of time and/or money over a prescribed period of electronic gaming machine play.
The card-based technology allows patrons to:
• deposit money into their card-based/cashless gaming account, then insert their player loyalty card into a gaming machine and use the money in their account to play a gaming machine
• set a transfer limit (which is the maximum amount of money a patron can transfer from their cashless account to a gaming machine – the highest being $100)
• have a locked balance limit (which is the maximum amount of credit able to be stored on a player’s cashless account)
• set a daily net expenditure limit (defined as the maximum daily net gain and loss by a player).
In 2004, OLGR first trialled the consumer pre-commitment card-based gaming machine system at the Grandview Hotel at Cleveland, which provided an insight into gaming behavioural modification.
In 2008, Premier Anna Bligh announced a range of responsible gambling initiatives, one of which was wider investigation into pre-commitment card based machine gaming. In March and September last year Sandgate RSL Club and Redcliffe RSL Club became the hub for the latest trials.
The trials at both venues demonstrated that there was overall support for the pre-commitment system by the venues, the players, the system suppliers and the licensed monitoring operators involved in the two trials. Players reported favourably on the usability of the product and the majority of players found the convenience of playing without cash to be the major benefit.
The evaluations also showed that card-based gaming was a useful harm minimisation tool for those players who wanted to set limits and control their gambling behaviour. There was player support for card-based gaming to be a voluntary option for players and for limits to be voluntary and determined by the individual player, enabling players to have control over their gambling.
The majority of liquor incident reports received from police are in response to a call for assistance either from venue management or security, and relate to peace and good order issues, such as fights and disturbances.
Police are required by operational procedures to provide a liquor incident report, which is then assessed by OLGR compliance officers, who consider the overall seriousness and relevance of the incident.
If the incident relates to the eviction of a patron from the premises the following questions would be considered as part of the assessment:
• why was the patron evicted?
• was the patron ‘drunk’ and being asked to leave once they had reached a state of undue intoxication?
• during the eviction has security used unreasonable force to evict the patron?
• has the licensee/management responded appropriately to the incident?
If the liquor incident reports are of a serious nature, OLGR may carry out an investigation, which may require viewing available CCTV footage.
An incident where a patron is being evicted and the licensee/management/security have acted appropriately, the incident will generally not be used in an action against the licensee.
A ‘one off’ individual liquor incident report will not usually initiate action against a licensee, however in situations where there are multiple serious liquor incident reports, an investigation is likely to ensue as the liquor incident report may be an indication that the licensee has failed to prevent incidents of violence, fighting or failed to maintain peace and good order in or around their venue.
Actions resulting from liquor incident report investigations are not necessarily disciplinary. Outcomes instead may result in OLGR working one-on-one with licensees to recognise shortfalls in management strategies, providing licensees with practical solutions to improve the safety of their premises for patrons and the wider community.
As a liquor licensee it is important to remember that all police officers are investigators under the Liquor Act 1992. Information provided by police is generally about matters of peace and good order or acts of violence in or around licensed premises.
All licensees are required to provide and maintain a safe environment in and around their licensed premises and licensees should work with police and OLGR to ensure their licensed premises is operating safely.
Many late trading venues rely on security providers to provide a safe environment for their patrons and staff, making security providers an integral part of the hospitality industry.
It is no secret that crowd controllers undertake a dangerous role at licensed venues – by virtue of the Liquor Act 1992 this position is tasked with maintaining order in or about a public place. Security providers are tasked with managing unruly patron behaviour and ensuring peace and good order in your licensed premises. Their primary role is to maintain the safety of patrons and staff.
Ultimately it is the responsibility of the licensee to maintain a safe environment for patrons and staff – this includes ensuring the conduct of your staff promotes a harmonious and secure environment.
The mere employment of appropriately licensed security does not necessarily fulfil that responsibility. As the licensee it is up to you to ensure that security, whether as agents or employees, carry out their duties appropriately and ensure a safe environment.
When hiring security for your venue, ensure applicants have completed all necessary training and assess their communication, interpersonal and people skills. Their ability to work in stressful environments and address patrons may reduce incidents of violence in and around your premises.
Discuss strategies with all staff which may result in reducing incidents of force – like responsible service of alcohol, communication with patrons and responsibilities under relevant legislation.
Ensure staff training is up to date – crowd controllers must successfully complete three competency units to keep up to date with the latest techniques. The three competency units, referred to in the industry as ‘revalidation training’, are:
• manage conflict through negotiation
• control persons using empty hand techniques
• apply first aid or senior first aid.
More information on the security industry is available at the Queensland Government’s Fair Trading website: www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/security-industry.htm
Recent amendments to the Liquor Act 1992 require licensees, approved managers and all staff members involved in the service or supply of liquor to hold a current certificate for satisfactorily completing the approved training course about the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA).
RSA training course certificates and Responsible Management of Licensed Venues (RMLV) course certificates (required by approved managers) must be issued by an OLGR-approved trainer.
Both of these certificates remain in force for three years from the date they were issued by the OLGR approved trainer.
An RSA online training trial is currently on offer through Southbank Institute of TAFE and Etrainu Hospitality Pty Ltd, which is scheduled to conclude on 30 June 2009. OLGR will accept the training course certificate obtained from the online training as evidence of successful completion of the RSA approved training course.
OLGR is currently reviewing the effectiveness of online training in meeting the Queensland Government’s harm minimisation objectives in the supply and service of alcohol. It is anticipated that the review will be completed by 30 June 2009. Based on preliminary analysis it would appear that this training methodology supports the Government’s objectives and will continue to be offered post 30 June 2009. Details as to which OLGR-approved trainer or trainers may offer online training in the future will be provided at a later date.
In the meantime, details on how to access the trial online course can be obtained by contacting the relevant training provider or peak industry bodies such as Clubs Queensland or Queensland Hotels Association.
Is your training certificate valid?
Certificates issued by non-approved OLGR trainers will not be accepted by OLGR for the purpose of employment within Queensland licensed venues. To ensure your qualifications count, visit the OLGR website for a list of approved trainers www.olgr.qld.gov.au/industry/training/
Attention licensees and gaming nominees – the next report on excluded persons is due 14 July 2009.
It is a legislative requirement for licensees and gaming nominees to complete form 3R (report on excluded persons) and if applicable, form 3G (register of excluded persons) within two weeks of the previous reporting period.
Exclusions data may now be entered electronically. Please forward an email with the word ‘exclusions’ in the subject line to email@example.com to request the link to the electronic forms. The link will be emailed to venues on 29 June 2009.
Alternatively, click here to download paper copies of forms 3R and 3G. (http://www.olgr.qld.gov.au/resources/compliance/index.shtml)
Please forward completed paper forms via:
• fax: forward forms to 07 3237 1656
• mail: send completed forms to:
Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing
Locked Bag 180
CITY EAST QLD 4002.
Since the announcement of our transition to DEEDI, OLGR has continued its extensive update of the corporate website.
The long-awaited return of the licence search function allows website users to search by licence number, name or type or postcode.
You can now use the search facility today by visiting www.olgr.qld.gov.au and clicking on ‘industry’ and then ‘technical services’. Or click here for direct access (http://www.olgr.qld.gov.au/industry/licenceSearch/index.php)
Further changes to the website are expected in the coming months.
If you have any feedback about the OLGR website, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Queensland Responsible Gambling Awareness Week ran from 10-16 May as an initiative organised by the Gambling Help services network. This year, as in previous years, OLGR funded activities run by the individual Gambling Help services in support of the awareness week.
OLGR recognises the need for a collaborative effort from all involved in the gambling industry to increase awareness of responsible gambling. For this reason, OLGR was pleased to support each venue by sending a resource package containing brochures, coasters and tent cards for display at the event and within the venue.
Officers from OLGR were also invited to attend the Tabcorp Casino’s ‘back of house’ week where staff received advice to assist in implementing responsible gambling practices.
Last year OLGR launched the Safer Drinking Cultures campaign which aims to cut the supply of alcohol to minors by parents and reduce the acceptability of binge drinking among young drinkers.
The campaign has recently been independently evaluated, showing positive results with both target audiences.
The graphic images of the television and press campaign, ‘Don’t kid yourself’ continues to resonate with parents, with first phase evaluation reports showing a 65 per cent awareness of the advertisement.
The youth media campaign, ‘Every drink counts’, has also been effective with the target audience, with evaluation results showing one in two Queenslanders aged 18-25 had seen the campaign and clearly understood the message to drink responsibly.
OLGR facilitates the distribution of grants derived from money spent on gaming, which is used to enhance the capacity of community organisations and groups to provide services, leisure activities and opportunities to Queenslanders in their local communities. Over the last two decades the community benefit funds have delivered almost $500 million across 39,000 projects for Queensland community groups.
OLGR, through its Community Benefit Funds Unit, distributes the grants and provides administrative and executive support to each community benefit fund and their respective Committee or Board of Trustees.
The community benefit funds include:
• Gambling Community Benefit Fund: covering the whole of Queensland, the fund offers four funding rounds per year and since 1994 has distributed more than $402 million to over 34,000 projects.
• Jupiters Casino Community Benefit Fund: covering South East Queensland, the fund allocates grants four times a year and has provided more than $78 million to over 3,100 projects since 1987.
• Breakwater Island Casino Community Benefit Fund: North Queensland community groups benefit from two funding rounds per year and since 1988 have received over $5 million for more than 1,400 projects.
• Reef Hotel Casino Community Benefit Fund: Far North Queensland community groups benefit from two funding rounds per year and since 1996 have received over $5 million for more than 1,100 projects.
Each year the Minister releases an Annual allocations report, which highlights the performance and activities of the individual community benefit funds.
The 2007-08 edition is now available on the OLGR website. Click here to view a copy. (http://www.olgr.qld.gov.au/resources/jccbfDocs/cbfAnnualAllocationsReport0708.pdf)
The OLGR-funded Strong Community Life program addresses alcohol related issues in remote Indigenous communities by promoting positive community initiatives and provoking discussion about alcohol.
The program engages with people living in remote Indigenous communities about responsible drinking by celebrating the strengths in each community and reinforcing the importance of healthy choices and setting goals.
The program has been running since 2006 and has seen radio programs, billboards and events staged in 18 Meeting Challenges, Making Choices communities in Queensland.
This year has seen a packed tour program, including visits to Pormpuraaw, Kowanyama, Mapoon, Napranum, Lockhart River, Mossman Gorge, Laura and Coen.
The Strong Community Life program ambassadors, former NRL great David Peachey and Olympic gold medallist Nova Peris, were joined by members of Troy Cassar-Daley’s band (Luke Austen and Vaughan Jones), to deliver a variety of music and sporting workshops.
During the music workshops, school aged children wrote about what made them proud and happy to live in their community. They then sang and recorded the songs to create a permanent record of the Strong Community Life visit to their community.
David Peachey provided football training sessions for the kids and discussed his rise to the top reinforcing the need for a good education and healthy choices.
Nova joined the tour for visits to Lockhart River, Laura and Coen and inspired children to achieve their dreams, no matter what their background.
The Strong Community Life team also visited aged care facilities, health clinics, art centres, playgroups and women’s and men’s groups, to motivate, inspire and confirm the strengths within each community.
The program in each community was capped off by a free BBQ and in some communities a disco, which saw young and old come together in a celebration of strength within the community, often ending in songs performed by local children, or a football game.
Evaluation reports are currently being compiled to assess the overall success of the program and to set the direction for the 2009-10 financial year.
David Peachey and Nova Peris getting creative in the communities