Pubs cop fines in licensing swoop

A licensing operation targetting north coast pubs and clubs has issued more than $25,000 in fines during a nine-day period.

Police and gaming inspectors targetted hotels, registered clubs, nightclubs, bottle shops and restaurants as part of an Alcohol Response Taskforce between May 3 and 11.

On the spot fines of $550 were issued to three venues in Lismore, Ballina and Lennox Head for allowing intoxicated persons to remain on their premises. Bar staff at two of the venues were fined a further $550 for serving intoxicated patrons.

One Lismore venue closed its bar after irregularities in its licence were detected. The matter was resolved and the bar reopens today (Thursday May 15).

A registered club at Ballina was fined $330 after its bottle shop sold alcohol to patrons who had not signed in, while premises in Maclean and Tweed Heads were fined $550 for trading without a current licence.

Nine venues in Lismore, Goonellabah, Ballina, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores, and Tweed Heads were fined $1100 each because their gaming machines were visible from the street.

No minors were detected on any licensed premises during the operation.

A spokesperson for the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, Mark Nowlan, said despite the detected offences, north coast licensed venues had substantially improved compliance levels since the Alcohol Response Taskforce was established.

However the fines issued during this operation represent only 10 per cent of the maximum penalty should we choose to take repeat offenders to court, Mr Nowlan said.

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