Three strikes scheme: Hospitality Minister George Souris. Photo: Peter Rae
A suburban Sydney karaoke bar is the first venue to have its liquor licence revoked by the NSW government under its ''three strikes'' laws to combat rogue operators.
Hospitality Minister George Souris announced on Wednesday that Gold Music Box karaoke bar at Belmore had been given a third strike, leading to the cancellation of its licence by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.
The licensee of the bar, Ba Da Entertainment, and the bar manager have also been banned from holding a liquor licence for a year.
Under the scheme, a strike may be issued for a range of serious licence breaches. If three strikes are made against a venue, it may lose its licence. The strikes against Gold Music Box have been laid for allowing intoxication on the premises, selling alcohol outside permitted hours and not complying with a plan of management.
In its published decision, the authority records the evidence of police who say they discovered two heavily intoxicated customers at the bar during a visit in August last year. One, who was ''too intoxicated to be interviewed'', grabbed a policemen by the throat while the other refused to leave when asked. The incidents were taken into consideration when the authority was considering issuing a third strike.
Mr Souris said there have now been 76 strikes recorded against 72 venues, including one third strike and three second strikes.
However, the scheme has come under fire from alcohol policy campaigners as ineffective. It was recently revealed that Kings Cross nightclub Bada Bing had not had a single strike against it because multiple incidents recorded by police fell outside the scope of the scheme.