Hong Kong Bans Under-18s from Alcohol in Bars/Restaurants

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Written By Henry Dalziel

I've been living and working in Hong Kong since 2016 as an SEO Professional.

It is illegal in Hong Kong for bars and restaurants to serve alcohol to minors under the age of 18, but this does not apply to retailers such as 7-11. This is because the Liquor Licencing Board regulates the sale of alcohol, which does not have the same regulations as pubs and restaurants. The Board is in charge of providing licences to alcohol-selling establishments, and they have the authority to place conditions on these licences, such as restricting the sale of alcohol to minors.The history of alcohol control in Hong Kong is fascinating. There were no rules governing the selling of alcohol in the colony’s early days. As a result of the public intoxication and disruptive behaviour, the first liquor licence was issued in 1872. All establishments that sold alcohol were needed to apply for a licence from the magistrate. Only the wealthy could afford to sell alcohol because the number of licences was limited and the costs were high.The government began to loosen alcohol rules in the 1950s, and more licences were issued. This resulted in an increase in the number of pubs and restaurants, as well as the growth of the city’s nightlife. However, there were still issues with public intoxication and disruptive behaviour, so the government imposed stronger limits on the selling of alcohol in the 1970s. These included limiting sales hours and prohibiting the selling of alcohol to minors.The current alcohol sales laws were implemented in 2013, and they are intended to achieve a compromise between allowing people to enjoy the city’s nightlife while also preventing problems with public drinking and disruption. The restrictions allow bars and restaurants to apply for a liquor licence, but they must follow tight guidelines, such as avoiding supplying alcohol to minors.Alcohol sales are an important component of Hong Kong’s economy, and the government is eager to advertise the city as a safe and fun location to drink. They also recognise the need to prevent alcohol-related disorders, thus alcohol-sale laws are meant to find a balance between these two aims.
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