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Club licence

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:

  • RSL clubs
  • bowling clubs
  • golf clubs

Liquor Licence Freeze

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.

Precinct maps: 

Applying tips:

Your application can take longer to review if we don’t have all the details we need to assess it. We will come back to you to obtain the missing information to progress your application. You can help us speed up the process by:

  • Providing all the correct information at the time you apply
  • Responding to our request for missing information as soon as possible after we contact you.

The information below will help you to prepare your application and gather all the necessary materials for your licence. However, if you're ready now...

Apply online

  • details of the venue owner
  • details of the organisation (the applicant of a club licence must be a corporation)
  • ABN, ACN or Y/INC
  • names and birthdates of all directors and officeholders
  • a current Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) extract
  • if applicable, an inclusion of the appointment of manager notice
  • a floor plan showing the proposed boundaries for the licensed area
  • if applicable, a copy of development consent or approval allowing the licence at your venue from your local council
  • proposed liquor trading hours
  • a copy of the club's constitution
  • evidence that you have consulted with your local community about your application, a Category B Community Impact Statement (CIS) club application will need to be completed at least 30 days prior to lodging this application
  • contact details for you or a person authorised to submit your application
  • if applicable, a completed applicant declaration (TDEC5) (PDF 176.7 KB)
  • if applicable, a completed declaration by the proposed club secretary (PDF 593.8 KB)
  • payment.

Download: Forms for this licence

The licensee and all staff involved in selling, serving or supplying alcohol need to have completed an approved Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course and hold a valid NSW competency card.

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:

  1. Licensee training
  2. Advanced licensee training
Staff with gaming machine responsibilities also need to hold a current RCG competency card.

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:

  • Monday to Saturday: 5.00am – midnight
  • Sunday: 10.00am–10.00pm Sunday.

An extended trading authorisation can be sought to allow trading outside of the standard trading period. Up to 18 hour trading can be approved.

Daily 6-hour closure period

A 6-hour closure period applies to all liquor licences, including those with extended trading hours. It usually starts at 4.00am and ends at 10.00am each day.

You can apply to change the 6-hour closure period:

  • temporarily
  • permanently
  • to different times on different days of the week.

In your application, you need to provide detail on:

  • the current and proposed hours of closure, and why the closing period should be changed
  • the demonstrated or likely needs of patrons
  • the interests of the local community
  • the opinion of local police on the proposal, if any
  • ways you will minimise harm associated with misuse and abuse of alcohol - including harm arising from violence and other anti-social behaviour
  • ways you will promote, sell and supply alcohol safely and responsibly
  • ways the proposal will not detract from the amenity of community life.

Resources

You can tailor your licence to meet your needs by applying for authorisations and exemptions - fees may apply.
Flexible licensing optionRelevant form
Allows area access for members younger than 18 years for sporting activities or prize-givingJunior members authorisation (PDF 404.4 KB)
Allows minors in a specified club areaNon-restricted area authorisation (PDF 428.9 KB)
Allows minors or non-members to attend functions in specified areasClub functions authorisation (PDF 441.2 KB)
Allows trading outside standard trading hoursExtended trading authorisation (PDF 539.5 KB)
Allows non-metropolitan venues to sell liquor up to 3:00am on up to 12 occasions annuallyMulti-occasion extended trading authorisation (PDF 507.5 KB)
Allows a person under 18 to sell, supply or serve liquor on the premisesException from requirement re: sale / supply / serve liquor (PDF 331.9 KB)

Conditions

The Liquor Act 2007 and Liquor Regulation 2018 include a range of statutory conditions that apply to club licences.

These conditions include:

  • a club must not hold a hotel licence or acquire any financial interest in a hotel. This does not apply to a hotelier’s licence or financial interest in a hotel that was granted or acquired by a club before 2 April 2002.
  • the secretary or manager must not provide a cash advance on the premises, or permit a cash advance to be provided on the premises on behalf of the club. The exception is where the cash advance is a prize or bonus won as a direct or indirect consequence of participating in lawful gambling conducted on the club premises.
  • a copy of the club’s liquor licence, and any licence-related authorisation and conditions must be available at all times for the information of staff who are employed in any capacity by the club.
  • ILGA must be notified immediately after a club resumes trading following a continuous period of more than six weeks of ceased trading
  • free drinking water must be available at all times to patrons. Water must be available at or near where alcohol is served, or by waiter service if alcohol is provided that way.

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.

Club-related authorisations

A registered club can apply to ILGA for a:

  • club functions authorisation: allows under 18s and non-members to attend prescribed types of functions at the club.
  • junior members authorisation: allows junior members to attend sporting-related activities and presentations in a part of a small club where it is not physically possible to separate that area from the bar and poker machine area.
  • non-restricted area authorisation: allows under 18s to enter a part or parts of the club.

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.

Licensee

A club licence is held by the club – the club is the licensee. This is known in the Liquor Act as a corporate licensee.

Secretary

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.

Managers

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

  • Under 18s must not enter or remain in the bar area of a registered club. A maximum court imposed fine of $2,200, or an on-the-spot penalty of $220, applies to the under 18 year old.
  • Where under 18s enter a bar area of a registered club and are 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 a club, secretary, or manager.

Definition of a responsible adult

  • a parent, step-parent, or guardian of the minor
  • the minor’s spouse or de facto partner
  • a person who is temporarily standing in as the parent of the minor.

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

  • Under 18s can enter or stay in a bar area of a registered club while in the company of a responsible adult for as long as is reasonably necessary to travel to another area of the club they can lawfully enter (e.g. a dining 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:

  • a club member
  • a child or parent of a club member
  • someone for whom a club member has acted as a guardian.

The under 18 year old must have been formally invited to the reception.

Performing in a bar area

  • Under 18s can enter and stay in a bar area of a registered club while in the company of a responsible adult when performing as part of a show or other live entertainment performance held in the bar area.

Apprentices and trainees

Under 18s can enter or remain in a bar area of a registered club if they are:

  • an apprentice or trainee receiving trade training (other than training in the sale, supply or service of alcohol);
  • receiving training and instruction in the servicing, repair or maintenance of gaming machines under the supervision of a licensed gaming machines technician.

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 a gaming machine area of a registered club. A maximum court imposed fine of $1,100, or an on-the-spot penalty of $55, applies to the under 18 year old.
  • under 18s must not be in the gaming machine area of a registered club. If they are not removed immediately, a maximum court imposed fine of $5,500, or an on-the-spot penalty of $550, applies to the club and secretary.
  • under 18s on club premises as the guest of the member are not permitted in any gaming machine area. If they are not removed immediately, a maximum court imposed fine of $2,200, or an on-the-spot penalty of $220, applies to the member.

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 member or a temporary member
  • as a junior member
  • while attending an event under a club’s functions authorisation.

As a guest of a temporary member, they must:

  • remain in the company of the temporary member
  • not sign the guest register.

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.

​​​The law requires that all types of licensed venues display liquor signs. This includes a number of compulsory signs, depending on which licence and authorisations you have.

Your application costs include:

  • an application fee
  • a non-refundable processing fee.

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.

Apply online now

You must be 18 years or older and authorised to lodge this licence application.

Apply online

Create a OneGov account to apply online for a new licence or maintain your existing licence online.

Apply offline

Note: Processing times take longer with offline forms and do not attract the 10% discount for online applications.

Advantages to lodging your application online:

  • you receive a 10% discount
  • the online form is easier to complete
  • it speeds up processing time.

Next steps

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 process, if applicable.

We're here to help. 

Use our online feedback form to send us your questions, suggestions or feedback. You can also:

Call: 1300 024 720 | Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm

Email: contact.us@liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au

Visit: Level 6, 323 Castlereagh Street, Haymarket

Access the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2018 at www.legislation.nsw.gov.au