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4 November 2019

What our inspectors look for at your venue revealed

Compliance Inspectors at Liquor & Gaming NSW inspect licensed venues all over NSW to ensure the public can enjoy safe and vibrant pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafés and events.

James is one of our inspectors – he has revealed how we decide which venues to inspect, what we’re looking for when we arrive and ways to help you prepare for your venue’s next inspection.

How do you decide which venues to inspect?

“We work across the whole state and there are a lot of factors and potential risks to consider.

“We’ll often inspect venues in a particular area because we’ve received or gathered intelligence, about things like levels of violence, complaints, customers, or if a major event is happening. We also work closely with the NSW Police.

“For example, we’ll work with licensees in the Snowy Mountains to ensure their venues are prepared for the busy winter tourist season, and we’ll also inspect the venues to check everything is running as it should.

“Other times we’ll need to inspect a specific venue because we’ve received a complaint from a member of the public.”

What are you looking for during an inspection?

“What we look for depends on the venue and if a specific complaint has been made. Our aim is to assess a venue’s compliance and help licensees to develop strong internal processes and practices.

“The first thing we’ll do is generally observe how a venue is being run. Things that we keep our eyes out for include:

  • Staff on the floor who seem aware and responsive to what’s going on in the venue.
  • Manager/s being present and supervising staff.
  • Guards being on the door and/or inside the venue if required.
  • If there are any intoxicated customers, and how staff are dealing with them.
  • If there are customers who appear under 18, and how staff are handling the situation.
  • If the venue has specific licence requirements we’ll check they’re being followed.
  • That the venue is operating based on the ‘business type’ it’s licensed for (e.g. restaurant, bar, hotel or club).

"We might also check specific things are in place, such as:

  • Incident registers.
  • Staff having their Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) certification.
  • Required signage is present and visible.

“When we do an inspection, we’re trying to get a sense the venue is being run well.

“If we pick up small issues they can often be resolved with the licensee or approved manager immediately or through a warning – because we can be confident they’ll be proactive about making sure their venue is doing everything it can to create a safe and enjoyable environment for their customers.

“If our inspections and other evidence suggest the venue is not being run well, or we find a serious breach of the law, we may need to take a different approach to getting issues resolved.

“This can include fines and legal action.

“Deciding what action we’ll take with a venue is risk-based and agreed by a committee of compliance inspectors and senior Liquor & Gaming NSW managers.

“This ensures venues are treated consistently, no matter who did the inspection.”

Checkout our compliance checklists for your venue.

James also shared how you can prepare for an inspection. Read more.