The Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has issued Orders of Monetary Penalties to five (5) Sobeys locations for non-compliance with Ontario’s anti-inducement rules. The orders of $7,500 to each location total $37,500 in all.
Following an investigation, the AGCO determined that Sobeys entered into a commercial relationship with a large beer manufacturer.
The relationship involved Sobeys receiving a range of monetary and non-monetary benefits from the manufacturer, including:
- Assistance in designing store planograms for Sobeys’ beer displays;
- Providing Sobeys with advisory and consulting services around Sobeys’ beer segment;
- Other monetary and non-monetary benefits from the manufacturer, including the purchase of delisted beer stock and in-store promotional materials.
These actions are contrary to regulations under the Liquor Control Act which prohibit an authorized grocery store operator from receiving financial or non-monetary benefits from a beer or wine manufacturer.
An Authorization holder served with an Order of Monetary Penalty by the AGCO has the right to appeal the Registrar’s action to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT), which is an adjudicative tribunal independent of the AGCO and part of Tribunals Ontario. The LAT may confirm or set aside the monetary penalty but not alter the amount imposed.
“Ontario’s Liquor Control Act includes clear prohibitions against these kinds of arrangements as they can create an uneven playing field, effectively allowing large manufacturers to buy preferential advantages at the expense of their competitors. The AGCO will continue to actively monitor the sale of beer, wine and cider in grocery stores to ensure authorization holders are following the rules.”
Tom Mungham, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar – AGCO
- The Sobeys authorization holders receiving an Order of Monetary Penalty are located at:
- 955 Westney Road, Ajax
- 977 Golf Links Rd, Ancaster
- 1595 Adelaide St N, London
- 1899 Algonquin Ave, North Bay
- 22 Fort York Blvd, Toronto
- Section 15 (4) of Regulation 232/16 made under the Liquor Control Act (LCA)
- AGCO Guide: Authorization to Sell Beer, Wine and Cider in a Grocery Store, Compliance Assurance section
ABOUT THE AGCO
The AGCO is responsible for regulating the alcohol, gaming, horse racing and private cannabis retail sectors in Ontario in accordance with the principles of honesty and integrity, and in the public interest.
The AGCO is a regulatory agency with a governing board that reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General. The agency was established on February 23, 1998 under the Alcohol, Cannabis and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996.