From the OLGR

Since I became Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming, something that has struck me is the level of genuine concern that clubs have for their members and their communities.

In my many discussions with operators, they have frequently reiterated that their patrons are like family and as such they are very interested in protecting their patrons’ best interests, This includes limiting any risks posed by alcohol and gambling in their communities.

However, they also mention that it can be difficult to recognise a problem gambler and give them the support required to overcome the barriers to seeking help.

I am very pleased to advise that OLGR has been involved in two projects that we hope will help you and your staff assist your members and their communities.

The first is a new campaign called When gambling took over... This was recently launched to educate and inform, and to reduce the stigma around problem gambling. The aim is to encourage people to reach out and ask for help if they or someone close them has a gambling problem.

The signs a patron is unduly intoxicated after having had too much alcohol can be much easier to identify than the signs a patron is gambling too much. We all know to keep an eye out for signs of intoxication, but we should also learn to identify the signs of problem gambling.

We know from research that 70% of Queenslanders gamble and while only a small proportion of these people will develop a problem with gambling, 60% of clients of gambling help services say that gaming machines are their biggest challenge.

In the lead up to Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, I ask you to take a look at your venue’s harm minimisation strategy, engage with your local gambling help service provider, and ensure there are the necessary supports in place to look out for your patrons.

In recent months, I’ve seen great examples of collaboration when it comes to supporting our communities and patrons.

This is an area where we can all learn from each other, so I encourage you to share your stories with us about how you are assisting patrons at your venues.

The second project is a world-first tool to support problem gambling, developed with the assistance of $50,000 in funding from the Queensland Government.
 
We know from research that 70% of Queenslanders gamble and while only a small proportion of  these  people will develop a problem with gambling, 60% of clients of gambling help services say that gaming machines are their biggest challenge.

The Gambling Recovery Star was developed, in a collaboration between Relationships Australia Queensland (RAQ) and UK company Triangle, to support people undertaking the journey of change to live a life free from the harm caused by gambling.

The tool allows counsellors and clients to work together to identify needs, develop action plans, and track recovery progress. To do this counsellors and clients look at eight key areas that may be impacted by gambling and together they determine areas to work on, actions to take, and the support required to get there.

Based on Triangle’s ‘Outcome Star’ methodology, which is widely used in counselling for issues like alcohol addiction, it is the first Star designed specifically for problem gambling.

Before its release RAQ ran a pilot of the Star with other frontline Gambling Help Service organisations which resulted in positive feedback from participants and counsellors.

For more information on the signs of problem gambling and the support available visit www.gamblinghelpqld.org. au. Free and confidential help and advice is available 24/7 via the Gambling Helpline 1800 858 858.

More information on your roles and responsibilities and training for staff is also available on the Business Queensland website
 
Annual liquor licence fees due

Annual liquor licence fee notices for 2021 are mailed to licensees in June and are due for payment by 31 July 2021.

It’s vital you pay your annual fee by the due date to avoid your licence being automatically suspended. If your licence is suspended you will be unable to sell liquor and if your fee remains unpaid for a further 28 days your licence is automatically cancelled.

Selling liquor with a suspended or cancelled licence has serious consequences, including significant fines. For example, in 2019 more than $150,000 in fines were issued to traders operating while their liquor licence was suspended or cancelled. Make sure you put this important date in your diary now to ensure it is not forgotten.

You may be eligible to pay your licence fee in instalments if you are suffering from personal or financial hardship or have been adversely affected by a natural disaster. Payment by instalments is only available for annual fees over $1,000.

While COVID-19 has placed many pressures on businesses, COVID-19 is not of itself a reason for a financial hardship application as these pressures have been felt across the industry and are not personal or specific to a particular business. Licensees must be able to demonstrate genuine hardship for their individual circumstances to make a claim.

To check if you are eligible, visit www.business.qld. gov.au/liquor-gaming and search for ‘payment of liquor licence fees by instalments’. Applications to pay by instalments must be received by 10 July 2021.

If you need more information or assistance, please call OLGR’s Licensing team on 1300 072 322.
 
Check In Qld app

Everyone should be well aware that the Check In Qld app became mandatory last month.

I have been very impressed by the huge take up of this app not just by venues but also by many other businesses across Queensland.

It has been many weeks since I have had to check in using anything but the Check In Qld app and all the feedback I’ve heard while I’ve been out has been very complimentary.

I’d like to thank all clubs for embracing this important safety measure and helping keep Queensland COVID free.

Go to covid19.qld.gov.au/check-in-qld/ for further information if you have any questions about the app.






Victoria Thomson
Deputy Director General of Liquor, Gaming and Fair Trading