Stop Ticket Scalping in Australia

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Stop Ticket Scalping in Australia

In Australia currently Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria are the only states in Australia that have legislation that makes  “ticket scalping” at major sports events illegal.  Western Australia has a law that makes ticket scalping within the City of Perth illegal, but it does not stop digital (or online) ticket scalping.

What is Ticket Scalping?

Ticket scalping is the intentional on-selling of a ticket for a profit.

Ticket scalping can be done potentially on-site, at a show or event when it is about to start.

Ticket scalping can be done online (or digitally).

Ticket scalping can be done person to person.

The Report “Ticket Scalping Report 2010” published by the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council states that the level of unauthorised on selling in Australia is low.

Chapter 4 states, in part :

The existing consumer protection regulatory framework in Australia, which will be enhanced by the Australian Consumer Law, is adequate to protect consumers from unfair trading practices in the ticket market.

There are issues associated with the enforcement of industry-specific regulation due to the disorganised nature of the secondary market.

The complete report is available from the following link.

This blog will demonstrate that the ACL does not provide adequate protection from ticket scalpers, and that a national anti-scalping law across Australia is needed.

Ticket-scalping is illegal for certain major sporting events (in person or via online means), including the AFL Grand Final, under Victoria’s Major Sporting Events Act 2009.   This Act allows for tickets to certain events to include terms and conditions that prohibit or restrict those tickets from being sold or distributed for more than their face value without the written authorisation of the sports event organiser.

A person who contravenes the relevant provisions of this Act commits an indictable offence and may be subject to substantial fines. Anyone who buys a ‘scalped’ ticket (including from an online auction site such as eBay), will be in jeopardy of the ticket being cancelled, with the result that he or she may be refused entry to the event.   However, it does not prevent the authorised original ticket vendor giving authorisation to particular re-sellers to package or bundle the tickets with other items, and then to ask for exorbitant prices.   Thus the re-seller makes a profit from the high demand for the tickets, rather than from the buyer wanting the item(s) packaged with the tickets.

Clause 30 of the QueenslandMajor Sports Facilities Act 2001” states that:

A person must not, within or outside Queensland, resell a ticket to a major sports facility event at a price greater than 10% above the original ticket price of the ticket, or purchase a a ticket to a major sports facility event at a price greater than 10% above the original ticket price.

This Clause does not stipulate “without the written authorisation of the sports event organiser” meaning that not only a person cannot resell such tickets greater than 10% above the original prices, but the authorised ticket vendor or seller cannot authorise on-selling (or re-selling) of tickets more than 10 percent above the original prices.   This Act prohibits ticket scalping, under the conditions of the Act, by online means as well as in person.   This clause covers all types of events at major sports facilities, not just sporting events, so for example, it covers concerts that are held at a major sports facility, such as the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Western Australia only has the The Public Trading Local Law 2005 which prevents the scalping and on selling of tickets in public areas in the City of Perth, without a trading permit.  This Act does not cover such sales via the internet.

This Blog is an attempt to research and demonstrate the un-ethical side of ticket scalping, and to make ticket scalping in Australia illegal.  We call for the implementation of national anti-scalping legislation.

The point is not that if a person is prepared and able to spend a fortune on a ticket, then the “secondary market” or onsellers / re-sellers are doing a great service by providing them with that opportunity.   The point is that people who really want to go to an event should be able to do so, if they make the sale on time, by buying the tickets at their original selling prices.



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This entry was posted on 27/07/2012 by in Legislation and tagged , .


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