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6/6/2024 General Assembly approves Sen. Gallo and Rep. O’Brien’s bill to expand alcohol samplings at liquor stores
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today passed legislation (2024-S 2698, 2024-H 7203) sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo and Rep. William W. O’Brien that would allow liquor stores to offer unlimited free samples once during the month of August.  Currently, unlimited samplings are only allowed once in March and November.  Food samplings must also be offered at no cost to the customer.
“Our small businesses are struggling right now and this legislation will give them another way of marketing their products to the public.  It’s proven that these tastings drive sales for our liquor stores and we should be doing everything we can to keep our small businesses open and successful,” said Senator Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick).
“Wine and other alcohol tastings are a significant driver of business for our liquor stores and since times are tough for so many, it makes sense to help these small businesses sell their products through tasting events and free samples.  One store owner recently told me that at their last wine tasting in March, he sold 100 cases of wine in four hours, making it his best day of business all year.  This is a good piece of legislation for our state’s small businesses and residents by expanding a model that is truly working well for these retailers and customers,” said Representative O’Brien.
The legislation would allow any holder of a Class A retail license to offer unlimited free samples of wine, beer and distilled spirits products once during the month of August.  Sampling events may not be promoted except on the licensed premises.  It would be unlawful for any tasting, or combination of tastings, to exceed more than four hours from start to finish and the tastings must be conducted during the normal hours of business.
The legislation now heads to the governor for consideration.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903