Changes coming to liquor law and board

| 24/09/2015 | 0 Comments

CNS Business(CNS Business): Government is finalising amendments to the liquor licensing law that will change how booze licenses are allocated, linking them directly to premises rather than individuals. Commerce Minister Wayne Panton said that the forthcoming amendments to the law would see liquor licenses tied to trade and business licences and address some of the problems created by the current regime, where licences are swapped from person to person and not attached to specific businesses.

“It will allow us to tie the grant of a liquor licence to existing trade and business licences and the premises,” Panton explained.

When the amendment bill is finished it will also facilitate changes to the composition of the board and board members qualifications, the minister said. The makeup of the board has come in for considerable criticism over the years because the chairman and several members of the board are liquor licence holders. As a result, conflicts have sometimes arisen that have prevented the board from functioning, as members have been forced to recuse themselves from deliberations.

The coming amendments are designed to streamline licensing and tie the process more directly to trade and business licensing in general. However, more major changes to the law may come down the line that could examine some of the more complex issues relating to the number of licences, those held in abeyance, the bartering and leasing of licences and other issues, including the laws relating to music and dancing at premises serving liquor on Sundays.

Meanwhile, this year’s annual renewals of licences and the meeting of the Licensing Board held last Thursday went relatively smoothly, with licences being renewed and a few changes also granted to licence holders and conditions of licences. One or two objections relating to live music at the Cabana on the waterfront in George Town and the question mark over the abeyance of the Jolly Roger licence were deferred until a later date.

Liquor Licensing Board of Grand Cayman annual session Sept 2015

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Category: Food & Drink, Local Business, Retail

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