Reducing the detrimental effects of ticket scalping
The committee received submissions from event holders and promoters,
ticketing agencies, online ticket marketing places and consumers. Their views
differed on the merits or otherwise of ticket scalping and how, or if, the
re-sale of tickets should be regulated. A number of submitters were of the view
that there were practices in the primary market that undermined consumer confidence
in the efficiency and fairness of the market and fostered conditions that
encouraged ticket scalping. In contrast, others maintained that the activities
of unscrupulous people in the secondary market posed risks to the interests of
event holders, promoters and consumers. In this chapter, the committee examines
the strengths and weaknesses in both the primary and secondary markets.
Problems and remedies in the primary markets
According to some submitters, promoters themselves are in part to blame
for consumer discontent because of how they allocate and distribute tickets. For
example, the online ticket platforms looked at the deficiencies in the primary
a significant factor in creating a demand for a secondary market that could
give rise to unscrupulous conduct. In their view, an inefficient primary market
presents opportunities for the resale of tickets that encourages rent seeking
behaviour as reported by the media and cited earlier.
The Ticket Brokers Association (TBA) catalogued behaviours in the
primary market that it believed resulted in consumer dissatisfaction and could
be remedied. They included:
a tendency by music festival promoters to substitute artists
(including headlining artists), with no right of refund, purportedly in
reliance on the ticketing agent’s terms and conditions of sale which permit such
substitution—these terms tended to mislead consumers about their rights under
the consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law;
an increasing tendency by ticketing agents not to refund booking
and credit card fees when a promoter must provide a refund;
a tendency by some ticketing agents to impose significant fees
for the replacement of tickets—for example, in the case of the 2014 Soundwave
music festival, Oztix has imposed a $40 per ticket fee for lost or damaged
the imposition of liquidity requirements for new and emerging
event promoters for large scale events, given a demonstrated increased risk of
at the general public onsale, a tendency by event promoters, such
as Frontier Touring, to hold back the best tickets as part of its 'packages',
only to release the unbundled tickets months later, purportedly 'due to the
finalisation of production information';
a tendency by promoters to announce only one or two shows when
they have a contract in place for four or more concerts—results in some of the
keenest and most desperate fans buying among the worst seats minutes before the
next concert is announced;
possible misleading and deceptive conduct pertaining to supposed
'VIP' benefits offered by event organisers, which do not meet customers'
expectations, as occurred with this year's Big Day Out; and
ticket prices printed on tickets from Ticketek and Ticketmaster
not reflecting the total average cost per ticket after transaction and credit
card fees, but rather the ticket's face value. Transaction fees can be as high
as $11.30 in the case of Ticketek, with credit card surcharges incurring from
an additional 1.95 per cent. This is problematic in instances of resale, where
the ticketing terms prohibit the resale above face value at risk of the tickets
Mr de Vos referred to a lack of transparency in the way event holders
and ticketing agencies operate. He noted that legitimate ticket sellers and
concert promoters 'reserve batches of the best seats and sell them off on other
trading websites themselves at greatly inflated prices'.
In his view, they conspire to 'inflate ticket prices' and their conduct is
'anti-competitive and an abuse of market power'.
Similarly, viagogo argued that the problems associated with limited access to
tickets do not arise from ticket resale but stem from the original allocation
Five practices in the primary market were singled out for particular
criticism—corporate and hospitality packages, sponsorship deals, allowing bulk
purchases, poor timing when placing tickets on sale and restrictions on ticket
refunds or transfers.
Corporate and hospitality packages
Viagogo observed that often only a small number of tickets are made
available to ordinary fans through the box office with the majority allocated
to large corporate interests.
EBay also referred to corporate and hospitality allocations whereby promoters
regularly hold back significant volumes of tickets for corporate interests,
sponsors and hospitality packages, which reduced the number of tickets available
to the general public in the first place.
Ticket Brokers Association (TBA) gave the example of the AFL which, it argued,
maintained a virtual monopoly on the sale of grand final tickets thereby effectively
stifling any secondary market.
Those from the general public who wish to purchase tickets
have no option other than paying between $1,495 and $2,395 for a food and beverage
package including a grand final ticket. Ticket only sales are not available to
the general public for the AFL Grand Final.
By contrast, AFL and eligible Club members are not required
to purchase tickets as part of a package. The cost of an AFL or club member's
ticket ranges from between $150 and $399. TBA is aware that some brokers have
privately sold club and AFL membership tickets for the AFL Grand Final to
members of the general public for an average price per ticket of between $500
The TBA rejected any notion that the difference in sale price between
the limited number of individual Grand Final tickets resold privately and the
AFL's ticket packages was the result of the high value attributed to the
hospitality benefits put together by the AFL. It noted:
Each year at the time of the grand final, TBA's members are
inundated by desperate fans who are content to pay a premium per ticket, but
who are reluctant to purchase the AFL packages, which are widely perceived as
exorbitant, and which are seen to include a meal and basic entertainment at a
One submitter, Mr George Peterson, referred to his experience buying a
ticket from the AFL Event Office for $1,500. In his words, they had 'a pretty
crappy breakfast function' and his seat was right up the back—'back row of the
top deck of the stand'. The following year he was happy to pay $750 to 'a mate
who buys tickets sometime from this guy' without the 'rip-off breakfast'.
COMPSS provided a different view on such corporate packages. It
explained that Sports have contractual arrangements under which tickets are provided
to authorised third-parties who are entitled to onsell them as part of an
agreed package. This agreement is 'in accordance with the terms and conditions
outlined on the ticket for the purposes of corporate, travel, accommodation and
supporter hospitality'. According to COMPSS, this arrangement provides 'a
significant revenue stream to the sports in addition to the value of the ticket'.
It stressed that:
These authorised agencies are entitled by the terms of their
contract to purchase tickets and provide additional benefits to create a
package deal. It provides a service for supporters who seek an enhanced level of
service at events.
The committee has noted comments by event holders including sports
organisations about the care they take to devise their ticket strategy. In
particular, their aim to provide 'great value for money for purchasers, many of
whom attend several of the events that are provided by the sports'.
It would help patrons and fans to have
a better understanding of the number of tickets tied to hospitality packages
and those available as tickets only to individuals. They would then be in a
much better position to appreciate how tickets are allocated and, if unhappy,
to complain to the event holders or sporting organisations.
Also, as part of their ticketing strategy, event holders and promoters
should ensure that their hospitality bundles do indeed offer value for money
and are not used to disadvantage consumers who have no desire to buy a package
but have no option but to purchase it.
Pre-sale and sponsorship deals
Allocating tickets for various sponsorship deals also reduces the number
of tickets available for fans or patrons who have no connection to the
sponsors. EBay drew attention to the practice of making tickets available for
priority purchase through presales, which, in its view, were 'often based on
arrangements with third party partners that fail to give real priority access
to genuine fans'.
For example, eBay cited an overseas example where it was alleged that, with a
Justin Bieber concert in February 2013, 93 per cent of tickets had been set
aside for other partners leaving only 7 per cent of tickets available for
purchase by the public.
With regard to sponsorship arrangements, Tickemaster explained that
without sponsorship deals, such as 'Telstra says "Thanks" for Bon
Jovi', the shows would not happen. It explained that such sponsorship deals are
no different from the Commonwealth Bank sponsoring a sporting event. Ticketmaster
If you are a customer of a bank, a credit card or a telco,
you get access to tickets before everybody else. That has been established
practice for the last 15 years, but they are limited to a number.
Ticketmaster explained that such arrangements were usually capped at
30 per cent of the house and there had 'to be an equal spread across
all the states not just 'the good states'. According to Ticketmaster, the
arrangement also had 'to be evenly spread over A reserve, B reserve and C
reserve. It stated further:
They are available for only a short time, so that you do not
inhibit the sales to the general public or whoever has been designated as the
consumer. It is very well documented. It is very well advertised, so that
people know what their rights are when things go on sale.
Despite Ticketmaster's assurances that sponsorships arrangements were
well documented and advertised, the Ticket Brokers Association of Australia
suggested that the government should:
...seek to foster a culture of transparency and encourage event
promoters to fully disclose the allocations that are being made available to
corporate clients and/or directly to secondary market exchanges, ideally by way
of self regulation.
The committee agrees with the view that, as with corporate and
hospitality packages, greater transparency in the allocation of tickets for
sponsors would provide consumers with a clearer understanding of the
availability of tickets. Not only may it help to dispel misconceptions about
the way in which tickets are prioritised and set aside for special deals but
provide an incentive for event holders to think more carefully about their
A number of witnesses identified the ability of a buyer to purchase
tickets in bulk as another weakness in the primary market that enabled ticket
scalpers to prosper. EBay suggested that 'failing to pre-qualify/identify
purchasers and/or impose limits on the number of tickets that any individual
can purchase in the primary tickets market causes concern'. It stated further
that some promoters also impose caps but fail to set-up systems to enforce the
Ticketmaster informed the committee that for most events, particularly
for those where at least a moderate to high demand was expected, a cap was
already imposed so a person 'would have to go to substantial effort to get more
than two or four tickets'.
Ms Maria O'Connor, Ticketmaster, explained that if there were limits and 'we
saw activity of more than four tickets at a time we would investigate where
those tickets came from'.
She stated further:
In the business, promoters predict demand and cap ticket
sales to so many tickets per transaction. We enforce that absolutely. We will
even track one credit card to see how many transactions were done. People ring
up with different names. We have a fraud officer and it is their job to track
who is buying tickets. It is absolutely enforced if that is the condition of
Stadium Queensland informed the committee that:
Promoters have also taken the initiative to help genuine fans
get access to tickets for high demand events and reduce the possibility of
unscrupulous companies buying large quantities of tickets through online sale
processes for the express purpose of profiteering from ticket re-sale. Examples
of the initiatives taken by promoters include pre-registration for tickets and
placing a cap on the number of tickets that can be purchased online in one
The LPA also noted that limiting the number of tickets per transaction
was part of the concerted efforts by industry stakeholders to implement
measures to deter illegitimate ticket scalping in the live performance
The committee notes the promoters and event holders' endeavours to limit
the number of tickets that an individual can purchase. Clearly, the reports of
batches of tickets going on sale in the secondary market indicate that the
promoters and event holders could do more to tighten up the systems designed to
prevent bulk purchases.
Poor timing of ticket sales
EBay referred to a common practice whereby all publicly available
tickets are dumped onto the market simultaneously, usually at 9 a.m. Australian
Eastern Standard Time on a Monday morning, causing phone lines and Internet
sites to collapse under the pressure. It cited the following recent examples
that occurred in 2013—Rugby's Lions Tour of Australia, which reportedly sold
out in 15 minutes and Manchester United vs A Leagues stars (football).
It suggested that ticket releases should be staggered by, for example,
releasing tranches to fans with fan clubs first.
A number of submitters similarly expressed their annoyance at tickets selling
out within minutes of going on sale but then surfacing on eBay for 'triple the
Ticketmaster explained that the promoter decides 'when the tickets go on
sale, what time they go on sale, how much they cost, what the ticket limit is,
how many shows there will be and what the price barriers are'. The ticketing
agency then executes the plan as given.
Ticketmaster informed the committee further that the purpose behind releasing
tickets on the market all at once was to get as many sales as possible in the
shortest time. It explained:
...so that you can get on the phone to the US, probably the
night before, to get the second show or the third show, and get the momentum.
Quite often, what happens is you put a show on sale and it sells out and you
then have a week off before you put a second show up and you lose momentum and
you do not actually sell the tickets. I know it sounds strange to encourage 300,000
people to come and transact with you at the same time, but that is how the
Furthermore, Ticketmaster informed the committee that staggering ticket
release would not be helpful, and was 'more likely to increase the chances of
ticket scalping'. It stated that even if staggering sales could be done 'fairly
...only create perceptions that supply is limited and could
therefore create more demand (and drive the price up even further). If there is
excess demand there is excess demand, and supply is finite.
This statement, however, offers no explanation for tickets appearing
almost immediately on the internet at highly inflated prices.
Mr de Vos suggested that withholding the sale of tickets until closer to
the event thereby denying scalpers the opportunity to purchase and resell the
tickets has been a recent positive initiative to combat scalpers.
The LPA also drew attention to the combined efforts by industry stakeholders to
implement measures to deter illegitimate ticket scalping in the live
performance industry. They included delaying the dispatch of tickets and
staggering their release and increasing protection through advancing
technology; such as barcoded ticketing systems and website security features.
One submitter suggested that legally the promoter should be the only
person able to sell tickets and anyone unable to use their ticket should be
able to sell the tickets back to the promoter for resale.
EBay also suggested that promoters should provide more extensive rights to
refunds, noting further that most other sellers of goods and services provide
refunds for unused goods.
In this regard, LPA, the peak body for the live performance industry, has produced
a consumer code of practice for ticketing. The code was developed in
conjunction with the ACCC to educate people on their rights and who they can go
to if they want a refund or want to complain.
The code explains that there are a few limited circumstances in which consumers
have an automatic right to a refund including if the event to which they
purchased an authorised ticket is:
According to the code, in many cases, the option to provide a refund
lies at the discretion of the LPA member. It advises, however, that 'in the
interests of maintaining good faith with the Consumer, refunds are sometimes
provided when there is no strict legal requirement to do so'. The code also
notes that discretionary refunds may be offered in circumstances where an
incident out of the consumer's control has fundamentally affected his or her
enjoyment of the event, and, despite being notified by the consumer, the LPA member
has failed to address the incident. Such happenings may include offensive
behaviour by another customer, a technical failure, or any other factor that
significantly affects the consumer's enjoyment of the event.
The committee found it difficult, however, to reconcile Ticketmaster's
response to eBay's suggestion about consumers having more extensive rights to
refunds, and the guidance offered in the LPA code of conduct. Ticketmaster
informed the committee that 'the nature of the industry does not allow refunds
because promoters are required to pay artists "up front"'. It
The live entertainment industry is unlike any other retail in
so far that every seat purchased is not of the same quality as others in the
venue. Therefore, allowing refunds has the potential of enticing patrons to
keep returning and buying tickets for new performances of the same event. This
would cause untold problems for promoters and producers who guarantee artists
fees and venue rental many months ahead of the event.
The committee understands that a system that creates difficulty for a
to obtain a refund, especially for tickets to a popular event, creates an
a secondary market. Thus, the existence of a secondary market often reflects a
failure in the primary market: the secondary market is able to meet a consumer
need that the primary market is not satisfying.
Aside from placing limits on the number of tickets available and
cancelling onsold tickets, promoters have introduced other measures to reduce
of unauthorised onselling of tickets. They include requiring tickets to have
names of purchaser (or other means of identification) on it, and using more
sophisticated methods of marketing and issuing tickets to consumers.
Also as a means of promoting consumer interests, the LPA has two codes
of conduct— industry code and, as mentioned earlier, a consumer code. It should
be noted that the industry code makes clear that with advance booking
arrangements LPA members should seek to maximise fair access to tickets for a
prospective consumer by:
providing adequate booking facilities;
making as much information available as possible at the time
about the number and type of events that will occur; and
disclosing appropriate information about the particular seats or
seating area for a given event that the prospective consumer may purchase.
While the code addresses some of the concerns raised in evidence to the committee,
it is silent on matters such as transparency and providing information to the
consumer on the allocation of tickets.
Promoters and event holders were of the view that the problems
identified in the primary market could or were being addressed especially by
imposing caps on the number of tickets allocated for sponsors and on individual
purchasers. Rather than focus on difficulties in the primary marketplace, they
considered that the conduct of those operating in the secondary market caused
significant problems for consumers. Their criticism was directed at the
resellers and their agents.
Problems and remedies in the secondary market
Some submitters favoured action that would prohibit online market places
such as eBay from allowing scalping as the most obvious and effective measure
to tackle the problem of ticket scalping.
For example, one submitter argued that ticket scalping was rife on eBay and
that eBay could not police it. He was of the view that the current laws 'need
to be looked at and changed'.
Another wanted 'far greater controls in place to restrict the operation of
scalpers' and suggested that operators such as eBay cease to allow tickets to
Such action included withdrawing tickets with unreasonable write-ups;
cancelling scalpers' eBay account and/or their ticketek or ticketmaster
Such measures would include requiring the scalper to disclose to eBay
specific information such as receipt or seat numbers to enable the relevant
enforcement agency to take any appropriate action to prevent scalping from
Other measures would require online market places to disclose the original,
listed ticket price so that 'a potential purchaser is informed of the profit
being sought by the scalper'.
Another suggestion involved banning auction style listings and requiring sellers
to list their desired price so that potential buyers could make their best
Viagogo was of the view, however, that regulating the secondary market
would lead to unintended consequences. It maintained that:
Introducing restrictions on resale violates the basic principle
of property ownership. Once someone has bought something—whether that's a
a car, stocks, or a ticket—it is their right to resell it if they wish. Viagogo
maintained that independent research supported this view, which has shown that
eight out of 10 Australians agree with viagogo.
Introducing restrictions on resale just makes it more complicated
to use the new safe and secure ticket marketplace platforms. These restrictions
would dissuade them from doing so, and they would therefore return to using the
old black market sales channels of auction sites, classified ads, and scalpers
outside pubs, clubs and venue car parks, where little or no consumer protection
Similarly, the concept of imposing price caps, while well
intentioned, just results in sellers reverting to selling their tickets in
places where price caps cannot easily be enforced, and where the chances of
consumers having a bad experience are high.
Finally, viagogo argued that the appropriate solution to ease concerns
about ticket resale would be 'to encourage, not discourage, the use of safe,
secure and guaranteed ticket marketplace platforms' that would have all the
to protect buyers and sellers.
Safe and secure online platform
The committee has highlighted the risks to consumers in the secondary
market such as exorbitantly priced tickets or, more worryingly, bogus tickets. As
noted in the previous chapter, however, there was general agreement that
counterfeiting was not as yet a significant problem in Australia. Even so, the
LPA stated that:
While instances of fraud are infrequent, it is a concern for
the industry as it becomes easier for fraud to occur online via risky
and insecure unauthorised websites. Several Members reported that they have come
across instances of duplicated and cancelled tickets being advertised online
Drawing on its members' perspective, the Ticket Brokers Association, criticised
the 'unfair media treatment' of the secondary resale market that likened ticket
broking to criminal activity. It suggested that such sensationalist reporting
did not provide any critical analysis of satisfactory and safer secondary
market alternatives such as eBay.
The online platforms that facilitate the resale of tickets, such as eBay
and viagogo, maintained that they have in place measures to reduce the
potential for consumer detriment. They are conscious of the importance of
providing a safe and secure environment in which people can transact the resale
of tickets. The Ticket Brokers Association noted that all sellers on eBay are
required to offer PayPal as a payment option. It explained:
Under PayPal’s Buyer Protection Policy, up to $20,000
protection is afforded for eligible purchases including tickets, in the event
they are not received or are deemed 'significantly not as described'. Each of
our members is an eBay Top Rated Seller, with eBay customers providing the
highest possible rating in categories such as 'item as described',
'communication', 'speed of postage' and 'postage costs'.
Viagogo stated that people purchasing tickets from its marketplace can
do so without worry about being defrauded because it offers a guarantee. It
claimed that its secure ticket marketplace has 'virtually eliminated ticket
fraud'. According to viagogo, it enforces strict security controls, such as
delivering tickets by a secure method (either electronically, by courier or at
one of its pick-up points). Another safeguard under its arrangements means that
the seller receives payment only after the buyer has confirmed receipt of the
tickets and attended the event.
Recognising that there is a legitimate need for the reselling of
a number of submitters suggested that rather than try to shut down the
secondary market, ticket selling agencies could become involved in an
after-market for tickets.
In this market, ticket purchasers would be allowed to sell their unwanted
ticket within 'a certain price ceiling to willing buyers'.
As noted earlier, promoters and event holders appreciated that there is
a place for a secondary market. For example, Australia's major sporting bodies,
which do not object to the onselling of tickets for legitimate reasons,
believed that such tickets should be sold at face value and through an
authorised ticket-seller or alternatively, via a system that is established to
allow this form of onselling.
The LPA drew attention to the concerted efforts by industry stakeholders
to implement measures to deter illegitimate ticket scalping. They included setting
up authorised re-sale marketplaces which were 'secure and hence more appealing
to consumers than high risk unauthorised websites'.
The LPA informed that committee that its members, which include producers,
music promoters, venues, performing arts companies and ticketing companies, 'authorise
resellers and establish fan-to-fan marketplaces to provide a secure avenue for
consumers to onsell in the secondary market'. According to the LPA, such
mechanisms are also 'an effective free market solution for deterring consumers
from using unauthorised reselling sites by providing a safe and secure
alternative to find tickets to sold out events'.
COMPSS gave the example of Tennis Australia that, in conjunction with
its authorised ticket agent, Ticketek, had recently introduced the 'Australian
Open Fan Marketplace', described by COMPSS as 'a safe and secure online
platform for fans
to resell tickets to the 2014 Australian Open'. It explained further:
This was the first official secondary ticketing market
operated by an Australian sport, and provided a platform for consumers to
purchase valid tickets to the event. By linking to the original ticket
transaction, Ticketek was able to facilitate a direct refund back to [the] seller,
as well as issue new tickets and barcodes to the new buyer. There was no cost
to list tickets for sale on Australian Open Fan Marketplace and ticket prices
were set at face value to ensure they are affordable for everyone who wants to
see the tennis. This was a service provided to fans and no additional profit
was made by Tennis Australia or Ticketek. It allowed genuine customers who are unable
to attend a session to resell their ticket/s and ensured that they were not out
of pocket. In excess of 1,300 tickets were sold through the Australian Open Fan
Marketplace across all 25 sessions of the event.
Ticketmaster recognised that consumers wanted existing ticketing
companies to engage in the secondary market to create a safe and reliable
marketplace in which to sell unwanted tickets.
In its view, the ticketing industry must establish such a marketplace and that
it could meet customers' needs without creating friction with the primary
It its view, resale was the solution and furthermore:
The best way to protect consumers, stop fraudsters and curb
the growth of unscrupulous secondary sites is to provide consumers with a
legitimate alternative that meets their needs, accompanied by industry-wide
Ticketmaster indicated that it intended to take a leadership position on
creating a safe and reliable re-sale market by launching an Australian resale
marketplace this year.
It has begun testing its new TM+ systems that would allow tickets to be resold
on the Ticketmaster website. Ticketmaster would then become
a participant in the secondary market as well.
It explained further that its secondary ticketing offer would mean that every
ticket holder would have 'a convenient way to resell tickets'. The scheme would
'meet the highest antifraud methods, including authentication of bar code [and]
protect every transaction with a 100 per cent money back guarantee'. It would
also provide buyers and sellers with full transparency on matters such as the
face value of the ticket.
Competition in the secondary
The online resale platforms and ticket brokers took the view that a
secondary market made a valuable contribution to the industry. In this regard, eBay
noted that Ticketek and Ticketmaster were the two dominant companies selling
sport, concert and theatre tickets in Australia. In contrast, it referred to
the more competitive secondary market with operators such as Showbiz, viagogo,
Facebook, Localbroker, Gumtree, My Tickets and Seatwave among others.
EBay argued that a secondary market helped to create competitive pressure on
the primary market. It stated:
The competition and transparency posed by new market
entrants, actually prompt the primary market to design new and more efficient
means of ensuring fans can get hold of tickets in the first place. If such
competitive pressures were removed or reduced through regulation, the
already-limited options available to consumers would be further reduced, and
the incentive to innovate and improve services in the primary market would
As noted previously, eBay supported the existence of a strong secondary market
with many sellers, arguing that this competitive environment would generate
'lower prices than would be achieved without the possibility of resale or with
restrictions on licenses limiting the number of sellers'.
The committee has drawn attention to some practices in the primary
market that have given rise to consumer dissatisfaction and posed risks to the
interests of consumers—corporate and hospitality packages, sponsorship deals,
bulk ticket purchases, and the conditions governing the transfer or refund of
unwanted tickets. The existence of a fair, reliable and effective secondary
market certainly provides the impetus for the primary market to perform better.
The committee would be concerned if a lack of competition in the secondary
market gave rise to poor practices in that market or diminished the secondary
market's role in exerting pressure on the primary market to maintain high
standards in consumer protection.
Ticket scalping and regulation
Evidence presented to the committee varied on the need to, and the mechanisms
for, regulating the resale of tickets. Some submitters, such as online
ticket-marketing platforms eBay and viagogo, suggested that the solutions to
curbing ticket scalping, as distinct from the legitimate resale of unwanted
tickets, should be directed at improving practices in the primary market. They
argued that measures, which would involve much greater transparency in the
primary market and prevent bulk purchases of tickets, would reduce the opportunities
for ticket scalping. Promoters and event holders informed the committee that
great care is taken in devising ticketing strategies to ensure consumers receive
value for money. They informed the committee that, in a concerted effort to
thwart ticket scalpers, industry stakeholders were implementing measures such
as imposing caps on the number of tickets a single person could purchase.
Event holders and the ticketing agencies suggested that the secondary
market, which enables ticket resellers to profit at the expense of the consumer,
was the source of the problems associated with ticket scalping. They would
prefer measures to be taken against the operators of ticket reselling platforms
to prevent ticket scalpers using this forum. The online platforms and the
ticket brokers rejected the notion that the secondary market needed to be
regulated. In their view, they were working to make sure that the secondary
market was a safe and secure environment for consumers.
Event holders and promoters recognise the value of having a secondary
market. Indeed they saw a legitimate role for a re-sale market—but by
authorised resellers. Thus, some have or are intending to enter this market
with the emphasis on providing a safe and secure but also lawful market.
Despite the efforts of those engaged in the primary and secondary
to deny ticket scalpers the opportunity to exploit consumers, a number of State
governments have responded to concerns about activities in the ticket selling
market by introducing legislation. For example the New South Wales (NSW) Government
is of the view that:
...despite strategies employed by promoters and event managers,
there continues to be consumer detriment from ticket scalping, which limits the
availability of tickets for music and sports 'fans', and the sale of
counterfeit or invalid tickets through the secondary ticketing market.
The following chapter looks at the legislative measures in place, and
being contemplated, to regulate ticket scalping.
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