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Government NSW

Venues asked to help uni students stay safe during O-Week

Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade 2 mins read

Licensed venues are being asked to play their part to help university students stay safe during Orientation Week celebrations this February.

Liquor & Gaming NSW has reminded venues to avoid offering promotions that encourage rapid or excessive alcohol consumption and to ensure IDs are checked, during a time when students will attend social events to mark the start of the academic year.

The reminder to help young adults stay safe while celebrating follows Liquor & Gaming NSW raising concerns about previous liquor promotions offered during O-Week, including a Newtown pub which last year offered heavily discounted drinks late into the trading period to students from a nearby university.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Executive Director Regulatory Operations, Jane Lin, said starting university was an exciting time for young adults, with socialising and making new friends an integral part.

“Venues have an important role to play in helping young people, who may be new to socialising on licensed premises and living away from home, to do so safely,” she said.

“The majority of licensed venues take their responsibilities seriously, and with their support, we hope that this year’s O-Week celebrations will be a fun, safe time for everyone.”

Liquor & Gaming NSW will be undertaking inspections during O-Week celebrations, monitoring responsible service of alcohol practices, as well as liquor promotions on premises, websites and social media channels.

In the past twelve months, Liquor & Gaming NSW has intercepted several potentially irresponsible alcohol promotions at venues, including:

  • a hotel in Bathurst offering half price drinks from 9pm
  • a hotel in Cessnock encouraging patrons to ‘Beat the Clock’ by offering discounted vodka-based drinks for short time-periods late in the trading period
  • a venue in Penrith offering extreme discounts ($3 schooners of beer) and discounted cocktails for an extended period of time (1pm to 8pm)
  • a hotel in Petersham offering heavily discounted drinks from 9pm to 3am every Saturday
  • a hotel in Gosford promoting a $10,000 bar tab linked to the outcome of the Everest horse race.

In all cases, Liquor & Gaming NSW engaged with the venues to ensure they withdrew or altered the promotions or had appropriate controls in place to prevent intoxication.

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