Province Working to Stop Scalpers

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Buying tickets to concerts and sporting events can be frustrating - tickets sell out quickly and the resale prices are ridiculous.

Now, big changes are coming to ticket resale in Ontario.

If passed, the proposed Ticket Sales Act would prevent excessive markups in the resale market, provide fans with more upfront information, and prevent ticket fraud, while strengthening enforcement of Ontario's ticket laws.

“Tens of thousands of fans across Ontario told us they are frustrated and want to see changes,” said Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General. “It’s not fair to fans when tickets sell out in seconds and show up on resale sites at a massive markup. That’s why we are changing the rules to make sure fans come first and to give everyone a fair shot at getting the tickets they want.”

More than 34,000 fans were surveyed in a two-week period between February 28 and March 15, 2017, with over 16,000 responses in the first 24 hours, making it one of the most popular online surveys ever conducted province-wide.

The survey showed that while 96 percent of respondents get tickets from a primary seller, 90 percent of them have had a hard time doing so due to tickets being sold out.

Often, sold out tickets prompt turning to resale websites. Nearly two thirds of participants had bought tickets on a ticket resale website, and 94 percent of them said they did so because tickets were sold out on Ticketmaster or the event venue’s website.

There’s clearly a need for action in terms of ticket resale prices.

Four of the main changes that the act proposes are:

  • Banning ticket bots and the sale of tickets that were purchased using bots,

  • Capping the resale price of tickets at 50 per cent above face value,

  • Requiring businesses selling tickets to disclose more information to consumers, and

  • Establishing new enforcement measures to help make sure that ticket selling and reselling businesses are following the rules.

The changes aim to focus on access, affordability, transparency, and enforcement.

It remains to be seen whether the legislation will be passed in the fall.

To learn more about the survey and its results, click here.

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