NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner
NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner Adam Hourigan

Alcohol guidelines set 'tough new benchmark' for promotions

DRINKING games, test-tube shots and cheap spirit promos will be banned in pubs and clubs under new alcohol laws geared at making NSW nightlife safer.

The release of the new Liquor Promotion Guidelines on Thursday revealed licensees who encourage the "misuse or abuse" of alcohol could face fines of up to $5500.

Bars serving cocktails in tea pots and jam jars will have to change back to standard-measure glasses.

Popular "buy one, get one free" deals have also been ruled out.The guidelines cover supermarket dockets and vouchers and even extend to social media.

NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said the guidelines set "a tough new benchmark" for responsible alcohol promotion and made clear the government's expectations about "what is and isn't acceptable".

Promotions deemed inappropriate include those that appeal to minors, use non-standard measures, offer extreme discounts or encourage rapid drinking.

While the new rules are sure to cause a stir in the industry, they are not nearly as tough as the draft recommendations tabled last year.

According to Fairfax media, the NSW Government had planned to ban "promotions which use images that objectify women's or men's bodies or portray women or men as sex objects, including gratuitous use of nudity".

Retailers were to be banned from placing promotional material near areas frequented by children including schools, play centres and video arcades.

A proposal to ban endorsements from celebrities or other role models was also shelved.

Health risks associated with mixing alcohol and energy drinks are still being investigated by NSW Health and could be included in the guidelines at a later date.

A copy of the guidelines can be found at www.olgr.nsw.gov.au.