What we do: Alcohol

Learn about the AGCO's role in regulating the sale, service and delivery of liquor in Ontario. 


The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is an agency of the Ontario government that regulates the sale, service and delivery of liquor in Ontario. The AGCO administers the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) and the regulations made under it. The Registrar ensures compliance with the Registrar’s Interim Standards and Requirements for Liquor, which licensees and permit holders must follow.  

The AGCO issues various licences and permits relating to liquor, including:  

The AGCO also issues various types of endorsements that provide additional permissions for licensees to sell and serve liquor under specific conditions. Licensees can hold more than one endorsement, but endorsements are only valid when combined with an active licence.  One such endorsement is a Caterer’s endorsement. A caterer’s endorsement lets a licensed establishment sell and serve liquor at an event in a place other than what’s covered under their liquor sales licence.  

The AGCO conducts inspections to ensure that licensees and permit holders comply with the law relating to the sale, service and delivery of liquor, and is committed to ensuring:  

  • the alcohol sector is operated with honesty and integrity and in the public interest  
  • liquor is sold, served and delivered responsibly  
  • residents have an opportunity to share their concerns during the liquor sales licensing process  
  • Ontarians and visitors can responsibly enjoy liquor within an economically viable hospitality and tourism sector.  

The AGCO employs a risk-based compliance approach to the regulation of alcohol in Ontario. This allows us to focus the greatest resources on mitigating the highest risk areas. See Liquor Sales Licence – Risk Based Licensing for more information on how this approach applies to liquor sales licensing.