Drinking games defined by ABCC

Drinking Games Defined for Massachusetts BarsThe Boston Herald reports that the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission has issued a ruling on how “water pong” is defined as a drinking game in Massachusetts.  The ABCC case stemmed from a ruling from the Boston Licensing Board regarding several Boston bars, including The Good Bar on State Street that were cited by Licensing authorities as hosting drinking games, a forbidden practice under the Massachusetts Liquor Control Act (Chapter 138 of the Mass. General Laws).      After the initial Boston Licensing Board hearing, many city bars were lead to eliminate all forms of games out of fear of breaking the law if any game involved any drinking.  From the Herald article on the ABCC ruling this week.

Bar games such as darts, pool or bean bag toss aren’t drinking games unless patrons consume alcohol as part of the rules, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission ruled Tuesday.  The ABCC said water pong — a variation of the popular college campus game with players tossing a pingpong ball into plastic cups of water instead of beer — is banned from bars because participants drink “as a consequence of poorly performing in the game,” according to the ruling. An exception could be made for players not drinking.

The Herald reports that Future Boston spoke out against the ruling citing its emphasis on bartenders and establishments having to behave as nannies of their patrons, while Boston liquor attorney John P. Connell said the ABCC ruling could actually help clarify whether bar owners/bartenders are breaking the rule or not.

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