Florida’s liquor license lottery drawing will be April 24
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Alcoholic Beverage Law
  4.  » Florida’s liquor license lottery drawing will be April 24

Florida’s liquor license lottery drawing will be April 24

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Alcoholic Beverage Law, Licensing and Permitting |

In Florida, the Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco conducts an annual Quota Alcoholic Beverage License Drawing, a process governed by state law and administrative rules. This lottery issues new liquor licenses to businesses in counties with an increased population. Licenses are generally awarded when a county’s population grows by 7,500 people. Still, there are exceptions in five counties due to special acts.

Quota licenses are available for Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Leon, Manatee, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Volusia, Wakulla and Walton.

Quota licenses in Florida are a hot commodity, especially for establishments like nightclubs, bars, and liquor stores that focus on selling liquor without serving food. These special licenses allow businesses to offer a full range of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits. For many aspiring business owners, acquiring a quota license is crucial in launching their ventures. However, securing one of these licenses isn’t simple. While one option is to purchase an existing license from another business, this route can be incredibly expensive and not financially feasible for everyone. This is where the state’s Quota Alcoholic Beverage License Drawing comes into play, offering a more accessible pathway to obtaining a quota license without the high costs of buying it on the open market.

Details about the application process

The entry period began on August 21, 2023, and lasted 45 days. Thousands of applicants submitted their entry forms within this timeframe. Division staff reviewed these forms, and if any are incomplete, applicants have 14 days to correct deficiencies. Those who failed to respond or submit late applications are disqualified. Still, they can request a hearing within 21 days to contest the decision. The application process is complicated, so applicants and winners often find it helpful to work with attorneys who handle state and federal alcohol law issues.

Law enforcement oversees preparation

Before the April drawing, a law enforcement officer checks the process to ensure its integrity, testing the Quota Alcoholic Beverage License computer the day before. There is a public display of applicant names and the number of available licenses per county on the day of the drawing.

The drawing day procedures

The drawing uses a machine to select nine random numbers to start the computer program that runs the final drawing. The results are then cross-referenced with the database to ensure accuracy before announcing the winners. Winners receive certified letters outlining further steps to obtain their license and must apply for it within 45 days.  There are fees due as well as an application to file in order to obtain the license if you are a winner.  The licensing process is also complicated, so winners often find that hiring an attorney to ensure you don’t misfile or file untimely and have your license issued to a backup winner.

The process is transparent, with law enforcement present to verify the selection and public posting of winners. This lottery system is crucial for managing Florida’s quota on liquor licenses, ensuring a fair opportunity for businesses to enter the market in growing communities.