Information Sheet: Responsible Service in Multi-Room Karaoke Bars


Responsible Service in Multi-Room Karaoke Bars


As a liquor sales licensee, you are responsible for what happens at your business. You have to ensure that staff and others related to your business are properly trained and aware of their obligations under the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA), its regulations, and the Registrar’s Interim Standards and Requirements for Liquor. 

AGCO inspectors are available to educate you and your team about how to comply with regulatory requirements. In addition, this information sheet provides some best practices designed to help multi-room karaoke establishments remain compliant by implementing some useful house policies.

Intoxicated Patrons

What does the law say?

As a liquor sales licensee, you can’t permit people to be intoxicated on your licensed premises or in adjacent areas that are under your exclusive control.

  • Regularly monitor your premises (both the licensed and adjacent areas) to ensure patrons are not becoming intoxicated.
  • Establish policies and practices on how to identify signs of intoxication. Speak to and engage with your patrons to assess their condition.
  • Remember that intoxication can be caused by drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Do not promote or allow drinking games (e.g., dice, cards, etc.).
  • See the AGCO’s Information Sheet: Recognizing Intoxication for additional information.


What does the law say?

As a liquor sales licensee, you have to ensure that the number of people on the licensed premises does not exceed the number permitted by your licence. That number is stated on the licence, and it includes your employees.

Another thing to remember: if you have separate licensed rooms or areas in your premises, you can’t combine their capacities. That means that the number of people in each licensed room or area can’t be above the number permitted in that room or area—no exceptions. 

  • Post signs showing the capacity for each room/area.
  • Make sure all staff know what the capacity is (e.g., when booking rooms, parties, etc.).
  • Regularly monitor/count the people in each room/area. Remember to keep track of people moving in and out of your premises and its different areas.


What does the law say?

The legal age to consume alcohol in Ontario is 19 years old. You and your employees cannot knowingly sell or supply liquor to a person who is—or appears to be—under 19 years of age, and cannot permit such a person to have or consume alcohol.

Sometimes you may have people come to your business who look like they might be under 19. For those people, you have to do the following:

  • If your licence prohibits people who are under 19 from being on your premises, you have to check their identification (ID) before letting them in. 
  • If your licence allows them to be on your premises, you can let them in—but you still have to check their ID before selling or serving them alcohol.  
  • A simple way to remain compliant is to only allow people over the age of 19 in your establishment.
  • If you decide to allow minors into your establishment, you can identify rooms hosting them as “no alcohol” rooms. 
  • Only accept ID that is in its original form. Don’t accept ID that is on an electronic device (e.g., a photo of an ID on a cell phone).
  • When in doubt, ask for a second piece of ID and challenge it (e.g., ask questions about the ID provided, ask the holder to verify their signature, examine the photo).
  • Make sure the identification presented is government-issued, not expired, and includes a photo and birth date.
  • See the AGCO’s Information Sheet: Checking ID for additional information.

Alcohol Sales and Service Hours

What does the law say?

Alcohol cannot be sold or served before 9:00 a.m. or after 2:00 a.m.
Licensees are responsible for ensuring alcohol sales and service stop at 2:00 a.m. Evidence of alcohol service and consumption must be removed and cleared from the licensed areas by 2:45 a.m. 

  • Consider posting the time for your employees (e.g., hang a clock). That will help remind them of when to stop serving alcohol.
  • Consider not announcing last call. This can help you avoid customers ordering a lot of alcohol near the end of the night. 
  • Post signs displaying sale and service hours.
  • When clearing away everything related to service, make sure to include cups, bottles, pitchers or anything else that contained alcohol.
  • The end of sale and service at 2:00 a.m. applies to employees as well (i.e., NO ONE can be sold or served alcohol after that time).
  • To view exceptions to the hours of service please visit AGCO’s Hours for Liquor Sale, Service and Delivery.

Controlled Substances

What does the law say?

As a liquor sales licensee, you cannot permit anyone to hold, offer for sale, sell, supply or consume a controlled substance on your licensed premises or in adjacent areas under your exclusive control. 


Disorderly Conduct

What does the law say?

As a liquor sales licensee, you—as well as any manager you appoint—are responsible for taking reasonable measures to deter disorderly conduct on your premises. 

  • If you see disorderly behaviour about to happen or occurring, intervene early—if it is safe to do so. Separate people or groups that are involved in the disorderly conduct and ensure that one person or group leaves the area. Do not have both parties leave at the same time; that way, you’ll prevent an altercation from continuing outside.
  • If you cannot maintain control, call the police.
  • Having  a window on karaoke room doors, as well as sufficient lighting in all areas, will help you monitor your customers’ behaviour.
  • Consider adding video surveillance of all interior and exterior areas (excluding washrooms). You can use video to monitor customer behaviour.
  • Ensure sufficient staff are on duty to manage/monitor your establishment.
  • Consider hiring security.
  • Ensure staff are easily identified (e.g., name tags, t-shirts), as this may deter inappropriate behaviour.

More Information

For more information, visit us online at or contact AGCO Customer Service anytime. You can also call us at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876 (toll-free in Ontario), Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.