The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) announced that they have reached an agreement with Albertsons LLC, Safeway Inc., and The Vons Companies, Inc. to pay $600,000 following an ABC investigation that alleged violations of California alcoholic beverage laws.
The violations arose out of the sale of alcoholic beverages in connection with the 2018 Monopoly Promotion conducted by the Albertsons company at its Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pac N Save, and Pavilions stores. The promotion advertised certain beer brands produced by MillerCoors as part of the Monopoly game and customers received additional chances to win prizes in the sweepstakes promotion if they purchased certain MillerCoors products.
ABC filed disciplinary action against 599 stores statewide. “Today’s action reinforces ABC’s commitment to regulate a fair and healthy market place where all licensees play by the same rules,” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith in a statement. “This particular violation gave these retailers a competitive advantage by offering consumers a gift or premium for purchasing alcoholic beverage products.”
ABC opened an investigation in 2018 and eventually found violations of Business and Professions Code sections 24200, 25600, and California Code of Regulations, title 4, section 106 (“Rule 106”).
The California Alcoholic Beverage Control Act prohibits the giving away of premiums, gifts or free goods in connection with the sale or marketing of alcoholic beverages.