Licensed venues that repeatedly commit serious offences can lose their liquor licence under NSW's Three Strikes scheme.
The scheme uses a system of strikes that target licensees or managers who wilfully – and continually – breach liquor laws. Not all offences will result in a strike - strikes only apply to serious breaches.
A first strike is automatically incurred upon conviction for a single relevant offence.
A second strike is discretionary, and can be incurred upon conviction for a relevant offence committed where one strike is already in force. The Secretary of the NSW Department of Industry decides whether to impose a second strike.
A third strike is discretionary, and can be incurred upon conviction for a relevant offence committed where two strikes are already in force. The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority decides whether to impose a third strike.
When deciding to impose a strike or licence conditions following a strike, the matters below must be considered:
Each strike remains in force for 3 years from the date of the offence, although it is not incurred until there is a conviction for the offence.
Where multiple offences are committed in relation to a licence within a single 24-hour period, they are taken to be a single offence under the scheme.
Read more information about the three strikes scheme in FS3015 Three Strikes disciplinary scheme fact sheet (PDF, 157 KB).
To recognise the unique role registered clubs play in local communities, clubs that record 3 strikes don't lose their liquor licence.
This would only penalise members who are not to blame for the behaviour of management or staff. Instead, a club secretary can face permanent disqualification from the industry.
For a registered club, a third strike can mean:
As a licensee or manager, you can seek a review of a decision to impose a strike against your licensed premises.
The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority can review a second strike.
The NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal can review a third strike.
The Three Strikes scheme gives licensees and managers an opportunity to review their business practices and reconsider their alcohol and security plans. This is the best way to prevent incidents that lead to offences and strikes.
Licensees should manage any risks in their business and put appropriate safeguards in place. This could include:
Liquor & Gaming NSW maintains a public registry of strikes. We name venues and tell people offences that led to strikes.
Anyone can check the Three Strikes Register (PDF, 673KB).
You can also view details of any liquor licence – including its conditions – by searching the Government Licensing Service website.
You will need the liquor licence number, licence name or licensee name.
Law and policy