Ontario wants to ban bots and cap scalping of concert tickets

Jun 26 2017, 9:01 pm

The days of unattainable concert tickets may soon be behind us, as the Government of Ontario proposes tougher new laws on resales.

After a public consultation period earlier this year, Ontario will be introducing the Ticket Sales Act in the fall and, if passed, would prevent excessive markups in the resale market, provide fans with more upfront information and prevent ticket fraud, while strengthening enforcement of the province’s ticketing laws, according to a government press release.

“Buying a ticket to a memorable and significant event should not be difficult, unfair or risky — fans should be able to support their favourite team or artist without facing so many obstacles,” said Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, in the release. “Protecting consumers when they make important purchases is a priority for our government.”

Ontario’s proposed changed include banning bots and the sale of tickets purchased using bots, capping resale prices at 50% above face value, requiring resale businesses to disclose information to consumers, and establishing new enforcement measures to help make sure that ticket selling and reselling businesses are following the law.

During the consultation period, the government surveyed more than 34,000 fans between February 28 and March 15, with over 16,000 responses in the first 24 hours. It was one of the most popular online surveys ever conducted by the province.

“Tens of thousands of fans across Ontario told us they are frustrated and want to see changes,” said Attorney General Yasir Naqvi. “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.”

And bands are behind the new proposed laws.

Hamilton’s Arkells say that they are encouraged by the government’s initiatives in support of music fans.

“Between prices on the secondary market and ticket bots scooping up all of the available tickets, we know how frustrating trying to buy tickets can be,” said the band in a statement. “When we put on a live show we want our fans to have access to tickets without having to pay inflated prices or risk buying fake tickets. We are encouraged that these new initiatives will be a step in the direction of getting real fans tickets at fair prices.”

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