The Government Wants You To Play Pokies But Not Listen To Live Music

3 December 2015 | 3:30 pm | Staff Writer

Even though live music earns NSW $3.62 billion?

New data shows that sixteen pubs in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross areas have been granted lockout law exemptions, provided they don't sell alcohol after 1.30am. The peculiar part, however, is the fact that the exemptions allow patrons to continue playing on poker machines, but specifically not listen to live music.

As SMH reports, the Liquor Act states exemptions can be granted provided there are conditions in place that "will be more effective in reducing the risk of alcohol-related violence in or about the declared premises concerned" and that "no entertainment is to be provided during the lockout period (other than gaming [poker machines] or background entertainment)".

Despite their efforts to cut out live music even further, an August report found that bars, clubs and small venues remain the most popular live-music space of choice around the nation and NSW generates more money in terms of net benefits to the industry than every other state and territory combined — a whopping $3.62 billion.

Pubs currently with exemptions include George Street's Albion Place Hotel, on the condition they don't sell alcohol after 1.30am, patrons are not able to buy more than two drinks at a time between 1am and 1.30am and they aren't hosting any entertainment. Last year's laws dictate that patrons cannot enter a premises after 1.30am and alcohol service must stop at 3am.

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Other pubs that have agreed to the trade-off include World Square's V Bar, Haymarket's Triple 8 Bar, Pitt Street's Criterion Hotel, Goulburn Street's Scruffy Murphy's and Kings Cross's The Bourbon and Vegas Hotel.

The news comes just a day after Goodgod was announced to have been sold to new owners (though, the venue will continue as a live music venue under the name Plan B Small Club) and the Lewisham Hotel closed down.