Venues in NSW should be aware that irresponsible drinking and other Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) breaches will not be tolerated by authorities, as one venue in Kings Cross recently discovered.
The Bada Bing nightclub, a stripper club recently lost its right to trade all night after police discovered a series of breaches to RSA regulation – a move owners say would cripple the business financially.
The club is now being forced to lock patrons out by 2am and close its’ doors completely by 3am. Some of the discoveries made by police include strippers driving home drunk, bikie shoot-outs on the dance floor, security guards assaulting rowdy patrons and staff drinking while on the job.
The owner’s battles to keep the venue trading all night included the submission of a petition signed by 508 people with handwritten testimonials opposing the move but these attempts were unsuccessful.
The venue’s management defended police claims of intoxication on the premises and said there was two dedicated RSA staff looking for signs of drunkenness but according to police the evidence proved otherwise. External consultants had also been brought in to conduct covert inspections.
From last week the club was forced to lock out patrons from 2am and close its doors at 3am, despite owners saying that this was their most profitable time when they made 60 per cent of their profits.
These incidents led the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to issue the order in a 100 page report that detailed hundreds of alleged misdeeds at the strip club.
According to police data, contained in the report, the club was at the centre of 129 adverse incidents since 2007, 141 intelligence reports and 40 “cases”.
An article on DailyTelegraph.com.au explains more about the order:
“Police have been frustrated by the lack of co-operation from staff in relation to the provision of CCTV to police, staff claiming not to have seen incidents they would have seen, staff providing false information and staff removing assault victims to other areas of the premises to provide first aid rather than calling an ambulance,” the report says.
Other material presented included claims that Responsible Service of Alcohol marshalls were turning a blind eye to excessive drinking and were spotted doing shots at the bar on one occasion. The high levels of alcohol consumption resulted in patrons starting trouble on the streets after leaving, police said, and, in one case, a stripper was caught drink-driving after consuming “two alcohol drinks during her shift on the premises”.
These were just some of the cases police cited in their argument to have the venue’s hours reduced. Police officers were also dissatisfied with security at the establishment which was at times too relaxed and at other times overly forceful. In one incident 3 people were rendered unconscious by venue staff in an apparently unprovoked attack.
Although this venue is an extreme example, licensees need to recognise the importance of ensuring all staff have completed RSA training and are enforcing the rules of responsible service of alcohol.