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New rules for ‘sip and shops’

Relaxed approach: Juan Wolffe, chairman of the Liquor Licensing Authority (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Sip-and-shop events in stores were given the green light after discussions between the Liquor Licensing Authority and the Chamber of Commerce.

The authority confirmed agreement on a set of rules and policies had been reached to allow stores to host the popular holiday events where businesses can serve alcohol to shoppers.

Businesses will now be able to apply for an occasional licence for the events on the condition that they agree to abide by a series of strict conditions.

The conditions include that shoppers are only able to receive two drinks, and must drink them inside the store. The retailers will not be allowed to sell alcohol or charge customers for taking part in the event and security must be present.

Anyone serving alcohol will need to have undergone Tips training in responsible bartending. Retailers who hold sip and shop-style promotions will also have to donate at least $100 to a charity or someone in need every time they hold an event.

The agreement came after Juan Wolffe, a magistrate and chairman of the licensing authority, warned retailers that sip-and-shop events were not covered by the Liquor Licensing Act and retailers who hosted them were breaking the law.

To read the Liquor Licensing Authority’s letter to the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”