Issued: Monday, 17 October 2016
Two former operators of the Dreamgirls strip club in Kings Cross have been banned for life from holding a liquor licence or managing any licensed venue, after operating a clandestine illegal bar and turning a blind eye to the sale and use of illegal drugs.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice Troy Grant said a life ban was among the harshest penalties available under the Liquor Act.
“Our independent umpire is ensuring bad seeds are weeded out of the industry in an efficient and fair manner, making nights out safer for the community.”
“Most venue operators do the right thing and follow the rules and for the few that don’t, there is a strong independent regulator waiting to throw the book at them.”
The life bans follow complaints by Liquor & Gaming NSW against Mr David Lakepa and Mr Michael Amante to the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) Board.
In February 2016, ILGA ordered Dreamgirls to close for six months after the venue was caught operating a clandestine upstairs bar where private strip shows were being performed, alcohol was being sold illegally and drug use and smoking were allowed.
Further, undercover police officers were able to buy cocaine from venue staff and strippers were seen openly snorting cocaine.
Mr Lakepa was the venue’s licensee at the time of the offences. In May 2016, he was convicted in the Downing Centre Local Court of operating a clandestine unlicensed bar, fined $7,000 and ordered to pay $1,500 in legal costs.
Mr Amante was the business owner at the time of the offences and a former licensee of Dreamgirls. In May 2016, he was also convicted in the Downing Centre Local Court of operating a clandestine unlicensed bar, fined $7,000 and ordered to pay $1,500 in legal costs.