Airtasker booze bust: Fines over illegal sale of alcohol
Two women and three men who illegally sold and delivered $120 bottles of vodka and tequila to buyers on Airtasker received a nasty surprise after their "customers" revealed themselves to be undercover inspectors.
The undercover sting took place during the lockdown with the illegal sales occurring in both Haymarket and Parramatta.
The five individuals were fined a total of $3740, with Airtasker also receiving a warning about the need to reinforce the seriousness of the breach.
Liquor & Gaming compliance director Dimitri Argeres said the unlicensed trading of alcohol through apps and internet platforms had been an ongoing concern.
Unlicensed alcohol delivery also carried significant risks of alcohol-related harm, such as supply to minors or intoxicated people.
"The sale of alcohol without a licence is one of the most serious offences under the NSW Liquor Act. This includes sales through online platforms or 'tasking' apps," Mr Argeres said.
"Although Airtasker has been working with authorities to remove and prevent all alcohol related tasks from being posted, we will still be warning the company to reinforce the seriousness of the breaches identified.
"Online platforms like Airtasker receive a percentage of each transaction, and this also contravenes the legislation. It is the responsibility of both the online platform and the individual tasker or seller involved to ensure all necessary licences and approvals are in place."
Mr Argeres said he hoped the penalty notices issued through this operation sent a strong message to other digital marketplaces and individual sellers that this conduct would not be tolerated.
Liquor & Gaming NSW were planning further covert operations and strong action would be taken against anyone caught selling liquor without a valid licence, he said.
An Airtasker spokesman said the supply or sale of alcohol is strictly prohibited on the platform.
"Our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our community, which is why we have worked closely with the Office of Liquor & Gaming to ensure we are compliant with regulations," he said.
"We have also developed our own tool which allows us to detect and remove tasks that breach community guidelines, including the sale and supply of alcohol.
"We remind community members to always follow our policies as they are in place to protect the community and help ensure that everyone has a safe and rewarding experience with Airtasker."
Under NSW liquor laws, anyone selling liquor without a licence can face fines of up to $11,000, 12 months imprisonment, or both.
Originally published as Airtasker booze bust: Fines over illegal sale of alcohol