Alcohol Monopoly Privatization and Expansion of Alcohol Availability (The Effects)

I. Beliefs about Alcohol Policy.

Many groups and individuals oppose alcohol monopoly privatization. And public employee unions adamantly fight against it for obvious reasons.

alcohol monopoly privatization

A state monopoly store.

In addition, many temperance-oriented groups also strongly oppose increasing the availability of alcohol. That includes limiting the

  • Number of retail stores that can sell alcohol.
  • Days and hours of alcohol sales.
  • Quantities that a customer may buy.
  • Alcohol content (proof) of beverages.
  • Advertising of alcohol.

Such groups generally favor increasing

  • Alcohol taxes.
  • Fees on alcohol producers, wholesalers, and retailers.
  • Expanding warning labels and signs.
  • Server liability for any problems that occur after alcohol consumption.

In addition, they

  • Strongly oppose government alcohol monopoly privatization
  • Support requiring warning labels on all alcohol ads.
  • Promote decreasing the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level for driving vehicles or other engaging in other activities.
  • Advocate eliminating the tax deductibility of alcohol beverages as a business expense.
  • Oppose alcohol education that presents drinking in moderation by adults as an acceptable choice.
  • Call for prohibiting¬†alcohol company sponsorship of sports events.

II. Case Study

 alcohol monopoly privatizationThe state of Washington had state government alcohol monopoly privatization in 2012. At the same time, there was a massive expansion of alcohol availability. People were suddenly able to buy alcohol in about 1,500 licensed stores of different types. That was a massive expansion of availability.

Many special interest groups predicted a dramatic increase in alcohol consumption. Researchers decided to assess the impact of alcohol monopoly privatization and the dramatic expansion of alcohol availability.

They sampled 2,289 adults in three surveys during 2014 and 2015. The adults reported their typical monthly quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption before privatization. They also reported their current past month quantity-frequency.

The researchers found no change in the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption after the changes.

Source: Kerr, W. et al. Survey Estimates of Changes in Alcohol Use Patterns Following the 2012 Privatization of the Washington Liquor Monopoly. Drug Alc Rev, 2018, Feb 12.

III. Resources

Alcohol Availability and Alcohol-Related Harm. (webpage)

Alcohol Prices: Would Raising Them Reduce Drinking among High School Students? (webpage)

Gmel, G. et al. Are alcohol outlet densities strongly associated with alcohol-related outcomes? A critical review of recent evidence. Drug Alco Rev, 2016, 35(1), 40-54. (webpage)

Neo-Prohibitionism. (webpage)
Nordstrom, T. et al. Potential consequences of replacing a retail alcohol monopoly with a private licence system. Addict, 2010, 105(12), 2113-9. (webpage)

Popova, S. et al. Cost of privatisation versus government alcohol retailing systems. Drug Alco Rev, 2012, 31(1), 4-12. (webpage)