A BLACK MARKET FOR BOOZE COULD EMERGE IN THE US IF LIQUOR STORES CLOSE
by Lucy Shaw
20th March, 2020
An illicit black market for alcohol could emerge in the US if more states follow Pennsylvania’s lead and close liquor stores across the country.
Could a black market for booze emerge in the US if alcohol retailers are forced to close their doors?
As reported by Forbes, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America CEO, Michelle Korsmo, has warned that a black market for booze may emerge if alcohol retailers are forced to close their doors to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“In a crisis, unintended consequences are major concern for industries and citizens alike,” Korsmo said, asking governors to keep drinks merchants open so “as to not encourage bad actors to pop-up black market liquor operations.”
In the case of Pennsylvania, Forbes reports that residents are travelling to Delaware to buy alcohol rather than refraining from buying it altogether.
In other states retailers are coming up with clever ways to keep the alcohol flowing – in Alabama liquor stores are kept to a 10-person minimum and in New York restaurants and bars are allowed to sell their drinks to go.
The crisis has also seen a spike in online alcohol delivery services that bring the booze straight to your door.
“We recognise the need to protect public, but we still need to meet consumer needs and support the hospitality sector,” Chris Swonger, president and CEO of Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, told Forbes.