Q1: What are the extended hours for alcohol sale and service during the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

A1: Hours of alcohol sales and service will be extended to 9:00 a.m. from 11:00 a.m. from June 14 to July 15, 2018. The extension of hours applies to all licensed areas at your establishment, including the patio.

Q2: Do I need to make an application to the AGCO to temporarily extend my hours of alcohol service during the World Cup?

A2: No, individual applications and approvals are not required. A municipality may indicate to the AGCO that it objects to the extension of hours. A municipal motion or letter from the Mayor or City Clerk may be submitted to the Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing. Any such objections will be respected.

Q3: I am not interested in opening early for World Cup. Do I have to open at 9:00 a.m.?

A3: No. Whether or not to open or to provide alcohol service at 9:00 a.m. will be an individual business decision of each licensee.

Q4: Can I serve liquor before 9:00 a.m. or after 2:00 a.m.?

A4: No, liquor may only be sold and served from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. from June 14 to July 15, 2018, inclusive.

Q5: Can I still serve liquor at 9:00 a.m. on days when there isn’t a World Cup game or when games start later than 9:00 a.m.?

A5: Yes, the AGCO has approved the extension of hours to 9:00 a.m. from June 14 until July 15, 2018 whether or not there is a game on that day or if the game starts later than 9:00 a.m.

Q6: Can we put a T.V. on the patio to watch the games?

A6: Yes. The extension of hours applies to all the licensed areas at your establishment, including the patio if licensed.

Q7: I have conditions on my licence. Can I still serve liquor at 9 a.m.?

A7: The temporary extension of hours does not override any conditions that are on your licence. For example, if you have a condition that stipulates that you cannot start the sale and service of alcohol until a specific time (for example, at noon or 5:00 p.m.), the temporary extension of hours for World Cup does not apply to your establishment. You must adhere to any conditions that are on your licence.

Q8: Does this extension apply to Special Occasion Permit holders?

A8: No, this extension applies only to establishments with a Liquor Sales Licence and does not apply to Special Occasion Permit holders.

Q9: Will there be any changes in how the Liquor Licence Act is enforced?

A9: No. Licensees are expected to be in compliance with the Liquor Licence Act and its regulations at all times during the approved hours of operation.

Q10: I am a resident and I don’t agree to the temporary extension of hours, so who can I send my objection to?

A10: If you have an objection to the extension of hours in your area, please contact your local municipality to voice your concerns.

Q11: Does a municipal by-law need to be passed for extension of hours in my community?

A11: No. The Registrar has approved the temporary extension of hours to liquor sales licensed establishments province-wide. The Registrar recognizes that the 2018 FIFA World Cup is an event of international significance for communities in Ontario and the extension will apply to licensees province-wide to ensure consistency throughout the province and to allow municipalities the opportunity to provide their views. Municipalities have the ability to object to the extension of hours in their area by notifying the Registrar in writing of their objections. Local wishes will be respected.

Q12: Can I request a temporary extension of hours for other events not taking place in Ontario ?

A12: Events taking place outside of Ontario, though broadcasted in Ontario, have generally not been considered to be events of significance eligible for extended hours. Liquor sales licensees may apply to the AGCO if they wish to request a temporary extension of hours for service for events which are of municipal, provincial, national or international significance, and the requests will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Q13: I live outside Toronto. Why doesn’t my municipality have the same authority as Toronto to extend the hours of alcohol service?

A13: In 2006, the provincial government made changes to the Liquor Licence Act allowing the City of Toronto to extend hours of sale and service of alcohol for events of municipal, provincial, national or international significance by passing a by-law to that effect. The City of Toronto is the only municipality that has this authority.

Q14: Why has the AGCO changed its policy regarding the temporary extension of hours?

A14: The AGCO has not changed its policy. The Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing recognizes that the World Cup is one of the largest and most watched sporting events in the world, and attracts a considerable following amongst the many and diverse communities in this province. Although events taking place outside Ontario have generally not been considered to be events of significance eligible for extended hours, given the very high level of interest in the World Cup and the unique circumstances of this event, the Registrar is satisfied that this is an event of significance and has granted this temporary extension. The Registrar is also satisfied that there are no additional public safety concerns and that the overall intent of the legislation is maintained, which is to allow extensions only under exceptional circumstances.

Q15: How will I know if extended hours will be allowed in my municipality?

A15: A list of municipalities which will not have extended hours during the FIFA World Cup will be posted on the AGCO website.

Q16: When was the last time a province-wide temporary extension of liquor service hours was approved by the Registrar? 

A16: A temporary extension of the start of liquor service hours was approved in the province in 2010, allowing a start time of 10:00 a.m. from June 11 to July 11, 2010 for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The extension of hours for this period was intended to allow service to coincide with the beginning of some games, which because of the time difference involved, were televised in Ontario early in the morning. No requests were received for an extension for the 2014 FIFA World Cup hosted by Brazil (one hour time difference to Ontario Eastern Time).