July 11, 2023
The Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has approved the start of liquor service in the province at 7:00 a.m. for liquor sales licensees during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Australia & New Zealand (FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023) tournament. This approval is temporary and only for the duration of tournament play, which starts on July 20, 2023 and ends on August 20, 2023. The extension of hours for this period is intended to allow service that overlaps with some of the events of the FIFA Women’s World Cup which, because of the time difference involved, will be televised in Ontario early in the morning. The closing service time of 2:00 a.m. will remain unchanged.
The extension of hours applies to all licensed areas at a licensed establishment. Please note this does not include outdoor patio spaces.
Temporary extensions of service hours are permitted under the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 for liquor sales licensees for events of municipal, provincial, national or international significance. While temporary extensions are not normally provided for events taking place outside of the province, the Registrar recognizes that the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is an event of international significance for many communities in Ontario and is one of the most watched sporting events in the world. In Ontario specifically, the tournament attracts a large and enthusiastic following within the province’s broad multicultural communities.
The extension of hours will apply to licensed establishments provincewide. If a municipality objects to the extension of hours in their jurisdiction, then they may notify the Registrar in writing of their objection and local wishes will be respected with the ordinary permissible hours of service (i.e., 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.) remaining applicable to those municipalities.
Whether or not an establishment decides to begin serving at 7:00 a.m. is an individual business decision for each liquor sales licensee. Please note however that while individual establishments need not apply to the AGCO for approval to begin alcohol service at 7:00 a.m. during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, they are responsible for ensuring that the municipality in which they are located is one that has not objected to this extension of hours.
Further information on this policy, including a list of municipalities where the extension of hours is not permitted, can be obtained by visiting the AGCO webpage: Extension of Hours for Ontario Liquor Sales Licensees During FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.