A club licence allows registered clubs to sell alcohol to their members and guests for consumption on and off the premises. If a registered club owns more than one premises, each must be separately licensed.
Gaming machines may also be operated, subject to separate approval. Types of businesses that use this licence include:
A liquor licence freeze applies in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD Entertainment precincts until 1 June 2019. While this freeze is in place, certain types of new liquor licences, including club licences, cannot be granted.
This requirement also applies to security staff and promotional staff conducting tastings on the premises.
The Liquor Regulation 2018 introduced an additional two compulsory courses for licensees and managers:
It is best practice to keep copies of your and your staff’s qualifications in a register on the premises.
Registered clubs that were operating prior to 1 July 2008
Alcohol trading hours for on-premises consumption are unrestricted and continue to be determined by the club, unless restrictions were imposed by the former Liquor Administration Board or Licensing Court.
Registered clubs that obtain a club licence after 1 July 2008
Alcohol can only be sold for consumption on the premises:
An extended trading authorisation can be sought to allow trading outside of the standard trading period. Up to 18 hour trading can be approved.
A 6-hour closure period applies to all liquor licences, including those with extended trading hours. It usually starts at 4am and ends at 10am each day.
You can apply to change the 6-hour closure period:
In your application, you need to provide detail on:
The Liquor Act 2007 and Liquor Regulation 2018 include a range of statutory conditions that apply to club licences.
These conditions include:
Licence conditions can also be imposed, varied or revoked by ILGA and by the Secretary of the Department of Industry.
Conditions maintained: Conditions imposed on a registered club prior to 1 July 2008 by the former Licensing Court or Liquor Administration Board, as a result of a licensing proposal or disciplinary action, continue to apply.
Conditions voided: Harm minimisation conditions which applied to most clubs prior to 1 July 2008 and required certain signage and other requirements to be met no longer apply.
Application must be made to the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) to vary or remove any other conditions.
A registered club can apply to ILGA for a:
Each of the authorisations is subject to any conditions that may be imposed by ILGA, while a club functions authorisation and a junior members authorisation are also subject to conditions under the Registered Clubs Act 1976.
Note: Where approval was previously granted by the Licensing Court for any of these authorisations, that approval continues, along with the conditions that were imposed at the time.
Application must made to ILGA to vary or remove conditions previously imposed by the Licensing Court or the Liquor Administration Board.
A club licence is held by the club – the club is the licensee. This is known in the Liquor Act as a corporate licensee.
A registered club must have one secretary who is also the chief executive officer. The secretary must be approved by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).
Where a club operates only one premises, the secretary of the club is automatically taken to be the appointed manager of the club’s licensed premises.
The Secretary must hold an RSA competency card and if they have gaming machine duties must also hold an RCG competency card.
All corporate licensees, including registered clubs, are required to have a manager appointed for the licensed premises. Where a club operates more than one premises, the club must appoint a manager to each premises where the club’s secretary is not present.
Before being appointed, the manager must apply under the Liquor Act for approval to manage licensed premises (application for Approved Manager Approval). Once approval has been granted by ILGA a person may be appointed to act as a manager.
A person’s approval as a manager of licensed premises generally does not expire. It applies to the person, not to any particular club. Once a person has received approval as a manager it applies to any licensed premises the person is authorised to manage.
ILGA can place conditions on the types of licensed premises that an approved person can manage and may limit a person to only managing registered clubs, or certain types of registered clubs.
Where a club operates more than one premises, the club must appoint a manager to each premises where the club’s secretary is not present.
Managers and their staff must hold an RSA competency card and if they have gaming machine duties must also hold an RCG competency card.
Important: A club, secretary, or manager is guilty of an offence if a person under 18 years old enters a bar area of a registered club and is not immediately removed from this bar area. A maximum court imposed fine of $5,500, or an on-the-spot penalty of $1,100, applies to these two offences.
Restrictions to under 18s being in a bar area of a club
Definition of a responsible adult
If a responsible person is aware that a suspected under 18 year old is attempting to enter the premises, the responsible person must refuse entry unless the person produces a current proof of age document and indicates the person is over 18. A maximum court imposed fine of $5,500, or an on-the-spot penalty of $550, applies to this offence.
Travelling through a bar area
Attending weddings in a club bar area
Under 18s can be in the bar area of a registered club to attend a wedding reception for:
The under 18 year old must have been formally invited to the reception.
Performing in a bar area
Apprentices and trainees
Under 18s can enter or remain in a bar area of a registered club if they are:
In gaming machine areas
Restrictions continue to apply to under 18s in gaming machine areas of a club under the law.
Under 18s must not be:
In other club areas
Under 18s are permitted in other club areas – including a non-restricted area or to attend an event held under a club functions authorisation which allows under 18s and non-members to attend functions.
They can enter:
As a guest of a temporary member, they must:
Where under 18s are a guest of a temporary member, the temporary member must be a responsible adult to them. If a responsible adult allows underage consumption of alcohol a maximum court imposed fine of $3,300, or an on-the-spot penalty of $330, applies to the responsible adult.
Your application costs include:
Use our Liquor Fee Schedule to calculate your fee.
Ongoing licence fees
A club licence is subject to annual liquor licence fee, due in April each year. Read more about annual liquor licence fees.
Lodging your application online has several advantages:
Once your application is lodged, we will advertise it on the Liquor and Gaming Application Noticeboard for 30 days. The community can comment on your application, as well as people who were consulted as part of the CIS.
You must be 18 years or older and authorised to lodge this licence application or an organisation.
We're here to help.
Use our online feedback form to send us your questions, suggestions or feedback. You can also:
Access the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2018 at www.legislation.nsw.gov.au