The Ontario government has issued an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGCO will continue to accept applications for Auction Authorizations. However, applications related to prohibited public events and social gatherings will not be processed until after the emergency order has been lifted or modified.

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.

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

A tailgate event is a new type of public event for which you can obtain a Special Occasion Permit (SOP). Tailgate events are held outdoors, in connection with and in proximity to a live professional, semi-professional or post-secondary sporting event. Permit holders may sell and serve alcohol, and attendees 19 years of age or older may bring their own liquor (BYOB) for consumption within the permitted area.

Permit holders and/or their designated Responsible Person must ensure compliance with the Liquor Licence Act, and its regulations, including ensuring that there is no intoxication, disorderly conduct or promotion of immoderate consumption, and that patrons under 19 years of age are not consuming alcohol at the tailgate event.

The information and resources below will help you apply for a Tailgate Event SOP 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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