January 13, 2021
Illinois Senate Bill (SB) 54, which would legalize retailer liquor delivery passed both houses. Under present law in Illinois, delivery is controlled by the localities. Numerous situations occurred throughout the years where a local government banned liquor delivery and put its retailers at a disadvantage. These situations influenced SB 54, which would take the powers of restricting delivery away from the locals and provide power over delivery to the state.
Additionally, the legislation allows a retailer to utilize the services of a third-party facilitator by means of the internet or a mobile app to facilitate the sale of alcohol. Third party facilitators are required to be licensed and must comply with recordkeeping requirements.
What is a third-party facilitator and what are its responsibilities?
A third-party facilitator license holder is an internet platform or mobile app that a retailer can use to facilitate sales of alcoholic liquor for delivery to customers.
Any entity holding a third-party facilitator license maintains a reporting requirement. It must submit quarterly reports. In these reports it must provide detail on each delivery perfected, including the name and address of where the liquor was delivered and the date of delivery.
Third party facilitators are required to keep records for three years following the submittal of the quarterly reports.
The regulation and licensing of third-party facilitators are the exclusive function of the state, and the legislation specifically prohibits a local government from regulating or licensing a third-party facilitator.
The legislation allows delivery by third-party facilitators and retailers subject to certain conditions.
A retailer can deliver alcoholic liquor if the delivery is made by an employee who is BASSET trained and age verifies the person receiving the alcohol.
A retailer can use third party facilitators by means of the internet or mobile apps to facilitate sales, if the third party is properly licensed, age verifies the purchaser upon delivery, the third party is not owned by or receives compensation from a manufacturer, distributor, or importing distributor, the retailer pays fees associated with delivery, and all brands available at the retailer are available on the third-party facilitator’s platform.
The world has changed since COVID and consumers are demanding more delivery options. Many consumers are going online to order their groceries and their alcohol. With this trend, retailers must meet this demand. Unfortunately, many local Illinois towns forbid delivery, this law takes care of this problem by mandating that the state controls this area of the law.
Finally, the state seeks to allow internet purchasing of a retailer’s liquor through a third-party app or website, but also requires meticulous recordkeeping by the third-party facilitator. The state is opening up the market, but at the same time ensuring there is accountability and safeguards.