Compliance and enforcement

Liquor licence holders must stay well informed with liquor legislation in South Australia.

Consumer and Business Services (CBS) regularly monitors liquor licences, including short term licences, to ensure compliance with all legislative requirements.

As far as possible licensees must make sure:

  • all people using the premises are safe
  • all staff are appropriately trained
  • the sale and supply of liquor occurs in a manner consistent with the principles of responsible service of alcohol.

An inspector from CBS could visit your premises at any time to make sure you’re meeting all your responsibilities and can ask you to produce certain documents or records relating to business conducted under the licence.

Key responsibilities of liquor licence holders

Disciplinary action

A licensee, responsible person and other persons involved in the sale or supply of liquor could face serious penalties for breaches of legislative requirements.

Non-compliant matters could be dealt with through written warnings, an expiation notice, a disciplinary hearing before the commissioner or the Liquor Licensing Court.

Grounds for disciplinary action

Reasons for disciplinary action include:

  • the person has improperly obtained a licence or approval
  • liquor has been sold or supplied unlawfully or without proper authority
  • the licensed premises have been altered without the approval of the licensing authority
  • the licensed premises are or have been in disrepair or in an unsatisfactory condition
  • the safety, health or welfare of persons resorting to the licensed premises is or has been endangered by neglect of the premises or neglect in the conduct, supervision or management of the business
  • a person has been convicted of unlawful gaming in respect of events occurring (wholly or partly) on the licensed premises
  • a contravention or failure to comply with an industrial award or enterprise agreement has occurred
  • the business has otherwise not been properly conducted, supervised or managed
  • there has been a breach of a condition of the licence
  • the person is or has been licensed or approved by the Licensing Authority but is not a fit and proper person
  • the person has been guilty of:
    • a breach of the Act
    • a breach of a term or condition of a licence
    • a breach of an order under the Act
    • a breach of an undertaking.

Who action can be taken against

Disciplinary action can be lodged against:

  • a person who is or has been licensed or approved
  • a person who has sold liquor without a licence
  • a person who occupies or has occupied a position of authority in a licensed entity or an entity that has sold liquor without a licence
  • a person who supervises or manages or has supervised or managed a business where liquor has been sold without a licence
  • an unlicensed person who has entered into an arrangement with a licensee not allowed under the Act
  • a lessor of licensed premises.

Commissioner's powers

The commissioner has the power to do one or more of the following:

  • suspend the licence
  • impose a condition on the licence
  • vary, suspend or revoke a condition of the licence (other than mandatory conditions).

Complaints to the Licensing Court

A complaint can be made to the Licensing Court by:

  • the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner
  • the Commissioner of Police
  • a council (under certain grounds).

If the Licensing Court is satisfied that there's cause for taking disciplinary action it can:

  • add to or alter the conditions of the licence
  • suspend or revoke the licence or approval
  • reprimand the person
  • impose a fine
  • disqualify the person from being licensed or approved.

Contact CBS Liquor and Gaming


Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 2169
Adelaide SA 5001

Page last updated 1 December 2022

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
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