Florida opens lottery drawing for coveted "quota liquor license"

Eric

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 16, 2023
691
122
Florida recently began accepting lottery entries for its highly coveted "quota liquor license." As discussed here, these licenses are valid at the county level, with new licenses becoming available every time a county's population increases by 7,500. In this year's lottery, four "quota" licenses are being offered for Palm Beach County, three for Broward, and two for Miami-Dade, in addition to some others across the state.

Apparently, quota licenses are highly valued because, unlike other types of licenses allowing liquor sales in the state, they don't have other attachments connected with them (e.g., what type of business entity you are or what type of venue you operate). If you receive a quota license, you're authorized to sell beer, wine, and liquor at the retail level, i.e., you can sell in package form at a store or sell for on-site consumption at a restaurant or bar.

The application fee is $100 per entry and the deadline to enter is October 4. If you don't manage to win one, the only other way to obtain a quota license is to buy one from an existing license holder. According to the article, buying a license from an existing holder in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County will cost you $300K-$400K.

This cap on liquor licenses, and the extremely high demand that comes with it, reminds me of recent discussions we've had about Massachusetts's broken liquor license system, where total licenses are capped for each city (e.g., 1,100 total right now for Boston). Massachusetts' process for adding licenses to caps seems to be more drawn out and bureaucratic compared to Florida's, where per-county caps adjust automatically with changes in population. This difference is bureaucratic barriers appears to be reflected in the market rate to purchase a license, i.e., $500,000 in Boston compared to $300K-$400K in the big city areas of Florida.
 
Location
United States
Florida's "quota" liquor license system, with its lottery and lower entry fee, offers more accessibility for entrepreneurs. However, the high cost of purchasing a license in some counties underscores the intense demand. It's an interesting example of how licensing systems can impact businesses and local economies.
 
The lottery for Florida's prized "quota liquor license" has started, and it's a big deal. These licenses are special because they don't come with extra conditions tied to the type of business or venue. If you get one, you can sell beer, wine, and liquor at a store or a restaurant/bar. People really want these licenses because they're not like other liquor licenses in Florida that have more rules. It's interesting how the rules and demands play out differently in different places.
 
I can see the need to have a liquor license to have some quality control, but for people wanting to get into restaurant business, it really is restrictive if they can't get a hold of a license. There are a great many people who want to go out and have a drink with their meal. My husband being one of those!

Those licenses being offered in the lottery are a big deal, but are there enough of them? Do you think that they should increase the amount according to how many new restaurants pop up in their areas?
 
I can see the need to have a liquor license to have some quality control, but for people wanting to get into restaurant business, it really is restrictive if they can't get a hold of a license. There are a great many people who want to go out and have a drink with their meal. My husband being one of those!

Those licenses being offered in the lottery are a big deal, but are there enough of them? Do you think that they should increase the amount according to how many new restaurants pop up in their areas?

At least Florida allows the number of licenses to increase as the population of each county increases. As I mentioned above, there are other jurisdictions, like Boston, where the caps are more fixed. I could see cap adjustments based on the number of restaurants being a possible policy too, though.

I guess the real question is whether these temperance-era laws regulating the number of bars/restaurants that can sell alcohol really have a beneficial effect in terms of reducing debauchery-related crime. I mean, just because fewer bars sell alcohol, does that mean fewer people will get recklessly drunk? These days, DoorDash and similar services will deliver alcohol right to your doorstep from both restaurants and liquor stores. It seems like these restrictions on liquor licenses could probably be liberalized without negative consequences, at least compared to the status quo.
 
At least Florida allows the number of licenses to increase as the population of each county increases. As I mentioned above, there are other jurisdictions, like Boston, where the caps are more fixed. I could see cap adjustments based on the number of restaurants being a possible policy too, though.

I guess the real question is whether these temperance-era laws regulating the number of bars/restaurants that can sell alcohol really have a beneficial effect in terms of reducing debauchery-related crime. I mean, just because fewer bars sell alcohol, does that mean fewer people will get recklessly drunk? These days, DoorDash and similar services will deliver alcohol right to your doorstep from both restaurants and liquor stores. It seems like these restrictions on liquor licenses could probably be liberalized without negative consequences, at least compared to the status quo.

In big cities you might have an entire street dedicated to the party life, and that's where you'll have the trouble from drinking on weekends. But, I can't help but wonder why they can't review the actual towns themselves to see that if the restaurants are spread out, there isn't much of a chance of debauchery. In my little town, it's really hard to get a license, so they allow BYOB. Is that really any safer?
 

For further information on this GPT, visit the U.S. National/Federal GPT page.

Back
Top