Friday, May 27, 2016

The Vices

Before we went to Perth, I checked carefully where the city bottle shops were, UK read off license, US, liquor store. One does need wine and at times stronger drink.

Toronto certainly did not seem to have large liquor stores, in fact no where obvious to get take away wine, in spite of us being in the main tourist area . I had noticed on a map the letters LCBO. Who would have a clue what that is? Even once you know it stands for Liquor Control Board of Ontario, it still does not sound like somewhere to buy alcohol, but that is exactly what it is and thanks to the doorman at the Fairmont Royal York for directing us. For Australians, it was about the size of a supermarket bottle shop. There must have been more than just the one outlet in Toronto, but it was the only one we saw and boy was it busy. I think we can take from that the sale of alcohol is heavily controlled in the province of Ontario. There was a push to free up the sale of alcohol in Ontario, but I am not sure how that has panned out.

A local council here in Greater Melbourne is protesting against a huge large liquor store being built in its newish suburb of Cranbourne East, which is arguably Melbourne's fastest growing suburb. Surely if the area is going to have a large population, why not a large liquor store?

Smoking without doubt is bad for you. I suspect supply meets demand so far as shops selling cigarettes go. You may well open a large and fancy cigarette shop, but I really doubt that it will encourage people to smoke.

What about gambling?  As an occasional gambler who enjoys shoving a single $5 note into a machine to see what happens, I am not sure that the availability of machines would encourage me to spend more. Pokie machines are put in socially disadvantaged areas, but does that really mean people gamble more? It probably does, otherwise, why would it happen.

The availability of casual sex may have once appealed to me. What a pig I would have been if the phone apps were around when I was younger. But it is all there now and I am not almost not tempted.

You may well argue differently and I am happy to hear your points, but we made sure we found somewhere to buy alcohol in Toronto, where it was not on every street corner. People will indulge their vices, cigarettes, gambling and alcohol and will go to some effort to indulge. Does a big liquor barn make people drink more? I really don't think so and why shouldn't the folk of Cranbourne East not have access to cheap drinks, as I do in our inner city area?

26 comments:

  1. Liquor stores in North Carolina are called ABC stores. Very weird. (Alcoholic Beverage Control)

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    1. How interesting Sandra. Is it a coincidence that I have a draft post called North Carolina? Is it terribly conservative? You can probably guess where I will go with the post.

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  2. And some perverse souls (which may or may not include me) will work harder to indulge their vices if obstacles are put in their way.

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    1. EC, are you talking about chocolate, haha.

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  3. Did you ever tru to buy alcohol in a dry suburb in Melbourne? And perhaps in other cities as well.

    Dry zones have existed in Melbourne since after WW1 when there was a strong temperance movement. I hope that the residents of Eastern suburbs like Camberwell and Hawthorn no longer have to drive elsewhere for their bottles of wine etc.

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    1. So the "Dry Zone" only applies to sales? not to consuming?

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    2. Hels, I don't think it is Hawthorn, but certainly the old cities of Camberwell and Box Hill and there was another...an odd one. The city boundaries have now changed and I think the restrictions only applied to the old city boundaries. Every time a restaurant wanted a liquor license, citizens had to vote. I think the status quo is now it is ok for restaurants to obtain a liquor license through normal channels. The subject is whole post in itself.

      Correct, River. No hotels in either of the aforesaid city areas.

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  4. One would think that a liquor shop/store would be viable in a well populated area, saves people driving for klms to another. No, it wouldn't make people drink more in my opinion, just easier to access.
    Up north as you may recall at Catherine husband had to show drivers license to two police persons because of the area, then he was permitted to buy a small amount in any 24 hour period.
    Poker/gambling - a problem and why do machines go in certain problem areas!

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    1. Poker/gambling machines are where they are because "they" target the poor who will gamble away the milk money in hope of that 'one big win'. The one that will take them away from poverty. My dad did the same but with the TAB and betting at the track.

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    2. Margaret, if you know in advance liquor will be hard to buy or can't be bought, you will stock up in advance. The poorer areas are where the gamblers are, so that is where companies want their machines, and generally succeed. I think that is different to take away alcohol.

      River, people used to lose a lot of money on the nags, but it was usually cash money, as you say the milk money or the kids lunch money. It wasn't so much on credit as can be done now.

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  5. I'm sure the objectors have perfectly good reasons for their objections, but in the end it won't matter much. Big business goes where it wants to, it may take a little longer, but the liquor shop will be built.
    I know that having such a place nearby wouldn't make me go out and buy, simply because I'm not a drinker; those who are would welcome the shop.
    I think perhaps the objections are probably related to the amount of increased traffic and possibly rowdiness of the customers.

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    1. Spot on River, although I am not sure that take away liquor customers would be so noisy and generate that much more traffic.

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  6. Its funny I don't really have a point of view on the topic. Let's think for a minute. I am happy to have a bottle shop close by so that it is easy to buy liquour when people come over and the wine fridge is empty. There should be some way of trying to discourage binge drinking and addictive gambling.

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    1. Diane, the binge drinking and probably the gambling to a lesser extent are cultural, as Gattina's comment below indicates. In many European countries it is shameful to get drunk like many Australians do.

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  7. In Belgium and France wine and beer is not considered as alcohol. It's the use since ever to have a glass of wine or beer with meals (except breakfast) I remember when my son was 6 years old they served very light beer at lunchtime at school (I was shocked) and usually the children when there are family dinners get a glass of wine with water.
    Alcohol is Whisky, Wodka etc.

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    1. Gattina, I know of the attitude to alcohol in Europe, but even I am surprised that a six year old gets beer for lunch. You say no beer for breakfast for French and Belgians. We leave that to you lot, the Germans to have beer and sausages for breakfast.

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  8. Ontario has just allowed the sale of some local breweries to sell beer in a selected number of grocery stores.
    There are actually a lot of LCBO outlets around the Royal York.

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    1. Jackie, I should have asked you before we went. Local knowledge is a wonderful thing, but we didn't go without. When we were there I did read the local press and it seemed there would be a freeing up of sales. I have been skim reading your blog and apologies for the lack of comments. The concept of a liquor control board operating bottle shops rather amuses me. I guess you know the one I just past the expressway and by golly was it busy. Btw, has a decision been made on whether the expressway will come down or not?

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  9. You didn't say Andrew, where did you find your tipple in Perth? Dan Murphy's is big here!

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    1. Grace, Dan's is not in the city. Vintage Cellars in Hay Street. Open even on Anzac Day!!!

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  10. Here hard liquor can be sold only in state run liquor stores, but wine and beer are sold everywhere. There are moves almost every year to get signatures for a ballot measure that, if passed by citizen vote, would return hard liquor sales to private enterprise.

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    1. So interesting Strayer. Is this all a hangover from prohibition times? Here it is purely about the alcohol content of the drink, not what it is.

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  11. Our local woolworthes is around the corner and down the road it has all the grog you want and plenty of smokes but no poker machines, maybe they should put one or two out the front and there is a brothel on the other side of the railway station but thats just to far to walk, all vices taken care of.
    Merle...............

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    1. Merle, what a civilised area you live in, with all the services you may require.

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