The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) regulates Victoria’s gambling and liquor industries to ensure that Victorians and others can enjoy safe and responsible gambling and liquor environments. The VCGLR aims to reduce the risk of harms related to venues that supply alcohol including underage drinking or alcohol-related assaults at licensed premises. In the past, VCGLR employees faced a number of challenges when completing manual assessments using available data, including the following:
- Difficult to access data found across multiple datasets owned by different partners
- Limited access to data about significant harms related to police and emergency services
- No agreed definition and measurement of ‘harm’ between agencies
- A lack of objective overarching risk assessment criteria shared between agencies
To improve the risk assessment process, the VCGLR developed a tool called ‘HiVE’. HiVE is a central repository for all currently known harm data for licensed premises in Victoria. It brings together multiple datasets and uses an algorithm to assess the risk of every licensed premises in Victoria. It was designed internally by VCGLR staff in collaboration with law enforcement, local councils, and universities and includes objective indicators of harm from the Victoria Police, emergency services, and VCGLR data.
The HiVE tool determines where risk of harm is more acute, enabling VCGLR to prioritise the inspection of premises where the risk is higher. HiVE helps the VCGLR decide which venues to visit, how often they are visited and when. Information in the HiVE tool is also used to inform the assessment of liquor licence applications. The database can also be used by VCGLR staff to find historical compliance data, providing a more accurate picture of the premises they are inspecting.
HiVE enables the VCGLR’s efficient and risk-based approach by identifying risk of harm early on in the application process. The regulator has created a quick and automated tool that allows for more objective risk assessment and more targeted distribution of VCGLR resources to higher-risk premises.