The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for administering the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) and specific sections of the Liquor Control Act (LCA), which together with the regulations made under them establish the licensing and regulatory regime for most aspects relating to the sale and service of alcohol in Ontario.

Among its responsibilities in the alcohol sector, the AGCO oversees the administration of the Special Occasion Permit (SOP) program, which allows for the sale and service of alcohol on special occasions, such as cash bars at weddings or private receptions, as well as larger scale events that are open to the public, such as charity fundraisers.

A SOP is required any time alcohol is offered for sale or served anywhere other than in a licensed establishment (such as a bar or restaurant) or a private place (such as a private office or home).

There are three types of special occasions for which a permit may be issued:

  • Private Event: For events where only invited guests will attend. These events cannot be advertised and there can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of alcohol at the event.
  • Public Events: For events that are open to the public. Public events can be advertised and allow for fundraising/profit from the sale of alcohol.
  • Industry Promotional Events: For events held to promote a manufacturer’s product through sampling. There can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of alcohol at the event.

This portal is intended for those applying for a Public Event SOP.

The information and resources below will help you apply for a permit and better understand your obligations as a permit holder.

Note that you must first create an account via the iAGCO portal in order to apply for a permit online.

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