Effective January 2, 2017 Smart Choices is a new responsible service training program that will replace both It’s Good Business, Serving it Safe and the Problem Gambling Assistance Program, which will no longer be offered.

While responsible service training has been a requirement for restaurants, lounges and other liquor services licensees for over two decades, this is a new requirement for retailers, including beer vendors, liquor vendors, specialty wine stores, Liquor Marts and duty-free stores.

Smart Choices focuses on current laws, safety requirements and responsible strategies when serving or selling liquor. Smart Choices also includes problem gambling awareness information.

You must be 18 to serve or sell liquor in Manitoba, therefore the program is offered only to people 18 years of age or older.

Service Establishments: As of January 2, 2017, all newly-hired staff, security or managers who do not already have Serving it Safe or It’s Good Business training must complete Smart Choices before starting work in a licensed service establishment.

Retail Establishments: Managers, security and staff in liquor retail establishments must complete responsible service training by January 1, 2018.  The LGA will begin to inspect retail premises for compliance with this training requirement effective January 1, 2018.

The goal of the Smart Choices Responsible Service Certification is to increase public safety. This training helps people who sell and serve liquor, and those who offer gambling in their establishments, understand the legal requirements and put in place responsible strategies to reduce risks and harm. Smart Choices will be valid for 5 years.