Liquor licensing, gaming & lotteries law is a myriad set of statutes, regulations and rules in Ontario.
These specific laws, administered by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), include:
- Liquor Licence Act
- Gaming Control Act, 1992
- Wine Content and Labelling Act, 2000
- Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996 (ss. 3 and 4)
- Liquor Control Act (parts of section 3)
- Charity Lottery Licensing Order in Council 1413/08
The Criminal Code (Canada) allows provincial governments to set gaming regulations.
Liquor Licence Act (LLA) covers most aspects of Ontario’s beverage alcohol laws. They include regulating and licensing: liquor sales licences, ferment on premise facility licences, liquor delivery service, manufacturer’s licences and manufacturer’s representative licences.
The AGCO is also responsible for overseeing the administration of Special Occasion Permits (SOPs). This agency also regulates the operation of casinos, slot machine facilities and internet gaming operated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and the sale of commercial lottery tickets.
The conduct, management and operation of gaming sites, lottery schemes and businesses related to a gaming site or a lottery scheme are regulated by standards and requirements authorized by the Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming under the Gaming Control Act, 1992 (GCA).
Licensees and registrants who do not comply with the LLA, GCA and their regulations could get a simple warning, be assessed a monetary penalty, or have their licence or registration suspended.
The amount of the monetary penalty is based on approved Schedules. Depending on the infraction, examples of the maximum penalties for each category of AGCO licensee/registrant are:
(i) for liquor sales licensees and ferment on premise facilities – up to $5,000;
(ii) for liquor manufacturers – up to $50,000;
(iii) for casino and slot machine facilities – up to $100,000.
Under the Good Government Act, 2011, responsibility for adjudicating alcohol and gaming matters under the Liquor Licence Act and Gaming Control Act, 1992 was transferred from the Board of the AGCO to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). LAT is an adjudicative agency of the Ontario government that adjudicates matters involving licensing activities regulated by various Ministries. If the Registrar is seeking to refuse, revoke or suspend your licence/registration, or has issued an Order of Monetary Penalty and you wish to appeal, you must request a hearing/appeal before LAT within fifteen days.
Liquor licensing, gaming & lotteries law covers many subjects. Our HLF team has expertise in each particular subject. We can provide legal advice and legal assistance in every aspect of liquor licensing, gaming & lotteries law.
For instance, we can help you apply for licenses for liquor and/or gaming and gambling, and advise you about compliance with the detailed provisions of the Liquor Licence Act and Gaming Control Act, 1992. We can represent you in court or before LAT if you are facing disputes and/or penalties involving liquor licensing, gaming & lotteries law.