From the OLGR

Mike Sarquis
Excutive Director of Liquor& Gaming Regulation


I would like to thank club licensees and management for their efforts to adhere to the requirements mandated by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer (CHO) throughout these difficult times. I know it has been a challenge adjusting to the ‘new normal’ of restrictions, while at the same time looking forward to welcoming patrons back into your venues and rebuilding your valuable role within Queensland communities. Our compliance officers have been monitoring licensed venues to ensure compliance with stage 3 easing of restrictions but in some cases, have been left with no choice but to take enforcement action.

By now, you should have a good grasp of how you can safely operate your business within the current restrictions. Please make it your priority to follow the Queensland Hotels and Clubs Industry COVID Safe Plan which gives you step by step guidance on all aspects of operating a COVID-safe business.

Awards for Excellence – Special Achievement Awards
Earlier this year it was our pleasure to again sponsor two awards in the annual Keno & Clubs Queensland Awards for Excellence.

Unfortunately, we were not able to come together to celebrate the industry’s achievements, but we acknowledge and celebrate those successes now with all members.

I congratulate the Cowboys Leagues Club in Townsville who swept the floor and took out both of this year’s government-sponsored Special Achievement Awards, Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Service of Gambling (RSG).

Cowboys Leagues Club scored high across all criteria of both award categories and the club well deserves acknowledgement of its achievements in these important services.

The RSA award acknowledges clubs that appropriately deliver on the responsible service of alcohol, which assists in reducing alcohol related issues, both on and off premises.

Cowboys Leagues Club has excelled in their commitment to serving alcohol to members and visitors in a responsible manner. They have taken ownership of RSA and gone beyond what is legally required, establishing a well-rounded strategy that includes:
  • staff training
  • policies to deal with intoxicated patrons
  • monitoring of minors
  • maintaining a safe environment, and
  • availability of meals and non-alcoholic beverages.
The importance of managing gambling responsibly in clubs goes without saying, and for the RSG award we were looking for clubs that demonstrated and excelled in genuine care of their gaming patrons.

The Cowboys Leagues Club demonstrated how it  provides a safe, supportive environment for members and guests who take part in gambling activities onsite.

The club is a clear leader in providing:
  • excellence in the area of community liaison
  • staff training incorporating early intervention and support for the vulnerable, and
  • implementation of responsible gambling initiatives.
It is heartening to see this example of a club that is not only compliant in RSG, but also goes the extra mile to support people who may be adversely affected by gambling.

This is a timely point to remind all licensees to consider the important role you play in supporting your patrons’ well-being.

Many of your patrons are dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, and may be experiencing unemployment, isolation, loneliness, anxiety or depression, potentially placing them at a heightened risk of gambling harm.

For others, venue closures have presented a unique opportunity to start addressing their gambling problems and you can assist them by ensuring your venue has appropriate harm minimisation strategies in place.

OLGR has developed an online guide on how you can support your patrons during this difficult time, which includes:
  • how to communicate options for support and provide gambling services responsibly
  • a step-by-step guide to promote self-exclusion for patrons who may want to continue their break from in-venue gambling by excluding from a venue, or multiple venues, through a Gambling Help service, without physically attending a venue.
To view the guide, go to the Business Queensland website: www.business.qld.gov.au/liquor-gaming

I encourage you to share the important messages from our social media pages on your business page, to not only raise awareness, but show your patrons that you are committed to reducing the risk of gambling-related harm at your venue.

Remember, Queensland Gambling Help services are not only there to help those in need, but also offer support to you in industry on how you can communicate and work with patrons. Reach out to your local gambling help service to find out how you can make a difference. Find your local gambling help service on the Business Queensland website www.business.qld.gov.au/liquor- gaming.
 
I congratulate the Cowboys Leagues Club in Townsville who swept the floor and took out both of this year’s government- sponsored Special Achievemnt Awards

Collecting contact information for COVID-19 contact tracing
Compliance officers continue to find some venues have become complacent in collecting mandatory contact details. The collection of this information is required to achieve compliance with both the approved Industry COVID Safe Plan and Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction (No.3). Go to www.health.qld.gov.au.

Importantly, it enables public health units to control the spread of COVID-19 in the community through contact tracing. Failure to provide this information in a timely manner may result in enforcement action (fine of $1,334 for individuals and $6,672 for corporations), including closing offending businesses in more extreme cases of non-compliance.

Venues must collect and keep contact information for all guests and staff for 56 days. This is not required for takeaway or home delivery.

This information must include:
  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email address (or physical address if email not available)
  • Date and time period for each patron
Venues are strongly urged to encourage patrons to record their departure time from the venue to facilitate contact tracing should it prove necessary.

A sign to encourage sign-out can be downloaded from the Business Queensland website, or venues are welcome to develop their own. Go to www.business.qld.gov.au and search for ‘In-venue signage for liquor licensees’.

My thanks to everyone in the club industry in Queensland for contributing to the great results Queensland has achieved in limiting the spread of COVID-19.