Pay to Play - Source: Beer Business Daily. Oct 30th
Speaking on the theme of retailer power and pay-to-play, Craig Miller, senior officer of the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, outlined recent efforts in his state to expose pay-to-play activities that eventually cost several big distributors $10,000 to $50,000 in fines at CAP's Alcohol Law Symposium.
The investigation started in 2012 and uncovered that beer, wine and spirits suppliers and wholesalers had arranged a number of payments for retail placement, including: advertising, gift cards, furniture, special events, IRCs only redeemed by retailers, draft systems and a number of other measures. While suppliers and wholesalers were clearly involved, Craig claims that retailers were pushing for these payments, and that in the long run wholesalers will likely save money now that pay-to-play was exposed in the state. Now, the department is focusing its efforts on retailers and suppliers.
While pay-to-play isn't anything new, this session clearly hit a nerve with the CAP crowd as other regulators and wholesaler representatives praised Craig's efforts. One wholesaler representative in particular said there should be bigger fines and longer license suspensions - up to a month - because currently regulators aren't getting anyone's attention. He asserted that all states are pay-to-play nowadays, and brewery reps are a much larger force with huge budgets. "The regulators are going to have to step up and use their fining authority and suspension authority" to get tougher. The problem? As we heard time and time again, regulators have fewer and fewer resources with which to do their jobs.
LB 173 passed effective 3/7/2013
it is now acceptable to take out of state identification cards as proof of age.
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