Racing season reminder for licensees

This article originally appeared in Queensland Bowler magazine, November 2018 edition

As the race that stops a nation draws near, we thought it timely to remind licensees of their obligations in relation to sweeps and drink promotions so that members can continue to lap up the atmosphere at their respective clubs this racing season.

Trading hours

The ordinary trading hours for a community club licence are 10am to 12 midnight, Monday to Sunday. Bowls clubs may apply to allow trading between 7am and 9am, however, extended hours trading does not need to be approved where patrons are having a meal (while using a dining or function room) or where they are participating in the sport associated with the premises. There are no specific trading hour changes regulated by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) during the spring racing period.

Calcutta sweeps

Calcutta sweeps can be conducted without a licence where the gross proceeds are not more than $2,000, so long as all proceeds of the games are returned to the players as prizes or used for the reasonable costs of conducting the sweep. Tickets are to be numbered consecutively and if the draw does not occur on the day that the tickets are sold, they must include the following information:

  1. the name of the event on which it is conducted;
  2. the closing date;
  3. the time, day and place it is to be drawn and the auction is to be held;
  4. the name of the association/ individual conducting it;
  5. the price of the ticket;
  6. the ticket number; and
  7. the player’s name and address.

Tickets are to be sold at the same price, but may also be sold as bundles (e.g. one for $1 or three for $2).

Any advertising for sweeps must contain the date and name of the event on which it is to be conducted, the closing date for the sale of tickets, details of how prize winners will be notified, the name of the person conducting it and the time, date and place for the draw and auction.

General obligations

As you are aware, section 142ZZC(1) of the Liquor Act 1991 (the Act) prohibits licensees from advertising promotions such as free liquor, some discounted drink promotions, and ‘all you can drink’ or happy hour deals from outside of the premises.

The OLGR specifically excludes Melbourne Cup Day promotions from several of the many advertising restrictions usually imposed, similar to those relaxations on advertising for ‘bona fide functions’ under the Act, allowing licensees to promote their functions and packages to the general public more than usual.


As penalties for contraventions of the Act can be fines for up to $12,615, or breaches under your liquor licence, what may seem like a harmless advertising campaign to get members through the doors can have serious consequences for licensees on every other day of the year.

In recent times we have worked with venues to create a Drinks Management Plan dealing with restrictions on advertising, drink promotions and the service of alcohol that apply to the premises, with a particular focus on online advertising, which has become an issue for licensees which have websites managed by third parties. Similar to a risk-assessed management plan (RAMP), this is then kept on premises and given to all employees as part of their training.

If you would like to discuss your club’s racing season arrangements, or require any assistance in creating a compliant advertising plan for your club for the rest of the year, please do not hesitate to contact us.

“The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.”
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