Overview

Responsibility for the adjudication of alcohol and gaming matters under the Liquor Licence Act and the Gaming Control Act, 1992 rests with the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT), which is an agency of the Government of Ontario that adjudicates matters involving licensing activities regulated by various Ministries. LAT is not part of the AGCO.

If you have received one of the following documents, you have the right to a hearing/appeal before LAT:

  • Notice of Proposal (NOP); or
  • Order of Monetary Penalty (OMP)

If the Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing (AGCO) is seeking to refuse, revoke, or suspend your licence/registration, or has issued an Order of Monetary Penalty that you wish to appeal, you must request a hearing before LAT within fifteen (15) days. For more information about requesting a hearing/appeal as well as any fees LAT may require, please visit the LAT website at www.lat.gov.on.ca.

Notice of Proposal

If the Registrar proposes to refuse, revoke or suspend a licence, the Registrar must serve a Notice of Proposal (NOP) on the applicant/licensee outlining the reasons for the proposed action.

Applicants/licensees who dispute an NOP issued by the Registrar may appeal the proposal. If you receive an NOP and wish to request a hearing, you have fifteen (15) days to appeal to LAT (www.lat.gov.on.ca). If an appeal is not received within fifteen (15) days, the Registrar will carry out the proposed action and/or a final Order will be issued.

In a situation where there are serious violations alleged such that it is in the public interest not to allow a licensee to continue to sell or serve alcohol, the Registrar may issue an interim suspension of a liquor licence. An interim suspension takes effect immediately. The interim suspension remains in effect for up to fifteen (15) days following the receipt of a Notice of Appeal. LAT Tribunal members, at a hearing of that appeal within those fifteen (15) days, may extend or rescind the interim suspension.

The Registrar´s Legal Counsel is available to address issues related to settlement, disclosure or narrowing the issues prior to a hearing/appeal. Please contact Registrar´s Legal Counsel, by phone at 416-326-5531, or by fax at 416-326-5574.

Order of Monetary Penalty

If the Registrar issues an Order of Monetary Penalty (OMP), the Registrar must serve the OMP on the licensee which includes the allegation(s) plus details of the alleged infraction(s) in the Order. Licensees who dispute an OMP issued by the Registrar may appeal the Order. If you receive an OMP and wish to request an appeal, you have fifteen (15) days to submit a written request for an appeal to LAT (www.lat.gov.on.ca). If an Appeal of the Monetary Penalty is not received within fifteen (15) days, the OMP will be enforced as imposed by the Registrar. The OMP is a legal Order and non-payment may result in further action being taken against your licence.

Public Interest Hearings

The AGCO is required to post public notices in the following instances in order to allow local residents the opportunity to voice their comments and/or objections:

  1. Where an application for a liquor sales licence has been filed with the AGCO and there has been no liquor sales licence at that address for at least six (6) months;
  2. Where an existing licensee wishes to licence an outdoor space such as a patio;
  3. Where an existing licensee wishes to increase the licensed capacity of the establishment (indoor or outdoor) by more than 25%; and
  4. Where the Registrar may require public notification due to the location or the past compliance history of an establishment.

In the above instances, the AGCO will post a public notice on the AGCO website and provide the applicant with a placard to post at the premises.

This public notice offers residents in the municipality an opportunity to respond to the application and to voice any concerns or objections to the application within the time period set as posted on the AGCO website and on the placard.

If you have concerns about a proposed licensed establishment or an expansion of an existing licensed establishment in your community, please read:

Where there have been objections filed with the AGCO, a public meeting may be arranged with a Deputy Registrar of the AGCO, the licence applicant and the objectors. The meeting will be held by telephone conference. The purpose of the meeting is to identify the concerns of the residents and see if the concerns can be resolved. The Deputy Registrar can approve the issuance of the licence if the issues can be resolved.

If the issues cannot be resolved at the public meeting then the Deputy Registrar will send the matter to a public interest hearing before the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). For information about public interest hearings, please contact LAT at 416 314-4260 or 1 800 255-2214 (toll free).

Decisions

Responsibility for adjudication of alcohol and gaming matters before July 2011 resided with the AGCO Board. All final decisions of the Board of the AGCO can be found on QuickLaw-LexisNexis (subscription required). Final decisions of the Board of the AGCO since January 2007 can also be found on Can LII.

For cases before LAT, please visit the LAT website at www.lat.gov.on.ca

Note: The Revised Rules of Practice (2008) that applied to hearings and appeals held before the Board of the AGCO prior to July 1, 2011, have been archived.

Decision Summaries

The AGCO publishes Decision Summaries that list liquor licensed establishments that received suspensions of 14 days or more or revocations. An archive of these Decision Summaries is contained below.

2017 Quarterly Decision Summaries

2016 Quarterly Decision Summaries

2015 Quarterly Decision Summaries

2014 Quarterly Decision Summaries

2013 Quarterly Decision Summaries

2012 Quarterly Decision Summaries

If you would like a copy of a Decision Summary from 2011 or earlier, please contact AGCO Customer Service at customer.service@agco.ca or 416-326-8700, or toll-free in Ontario at 1-800-522-2876.

Legal Representation

The Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing is always represented by experienced legal counsel or occasionally by a student-at-law supervised by experienced legal counsel. The Registrar´s Legal Counsel can be contacted by phone at 416-326-5531 or by fax at 416-326-5574.

While you are not required to have a representative in the hearing/appeal, you should think carefully before deciding to represent yourself. A hearing/appeal is a quasi-judicial process very similar to appearing in a court. The Member(s) of the LAT Tribunal hearing the case must remain neutral and cannot help you present your evidence or give you advice. You are expected to know and follow LAT’s Rules of Practice. Ask yourself whether you will be comfortable enough with the process and issues in dispute to be a good advocate on your own behalf. If you do decide to represent yourself, consider consulting a representative before the hearing for advice on the strengths and weaknesses of your case and how to best present it to the Tribunal.

If you do not have a representative, you can contact the Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) of the Law Society of Upper Canada at 416-947-3330 or 1-900-565-4577. LRS will provide the name of a lawyer in your area who will give you a free half hour consultation. A $6.00 fee for the referral is charged directly to your phone bill. LRS is not connected with Legal Aid Ontario. To find out whether you qualify for Legal Aid assistance, call 1-800-668-8258.

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