Liquor Licensing Victoria – Registration of Freehold Owner and/or Mortgagee

Wisewould Mahony are leading practitioners in the liquor licensing and hospitality industries.

It has become apparent within the property and hospitality industries that many Freehold Owners and Mortgagees of licensed premises are unaware that the current liquor licensing legislation in Victoria, the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (‘the Act’) requires Freehold Owners and Mortgagees of licensed premises to be registered with the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (‘VGCCC’). This includes parties which hold a crown or similar Lease and sub-let to a third party for rental.

A Freehold Owner or Mortgagee of Licensed Premises is under a positive obligation to be registered and to notify the VGCCC of any change of address. An Owner or Mortgagee’s failure to register is an offence under the Act and carries a financial penalty.

Whilst registration with the VGCCC is a legal requirement there is also a significant commercial benefit. In the event disciplinary proceedings are instituted against a Licensee at the VGCCC which may threaten the licence or the conditions of the licence or the licence is otherwise in jeopardy (for example for non-payment of licence renewal fees) or the subject of an Application to Surrender, the VGCCC will notify the registered party.

This notification will give the registered party the opportunity to take appropriate action to protect the liquor licence which is obviously a valuable asset of the freehold owner and can be a significant part of a Mortgagee’s security.

Our firm can assist with any necessary registrations with the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission to ensure protection and, importantly, legislative compliance.

Please contact Paul Ryan on 0418 393 535 or Paul.Ryan@wisemah.com.au.