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Support laws in New South Wales against Ticket Scalping

NEWS, 17 JULY 2013

The Daily Telegraph has reported that:

The O’Farrell government is close to finalising an aggressive new approach as the world’s biggest online ticket exchange, the Swiss-based Viagogo, ramps up operations in Australia to sell scalpers’ tickets.

Viagogo began selling NRL grand final tickets this week at double the official price – even before tickets were released to the general public.  Cricket chiefs also face a fan backlash, with Ashes tickets to the first three days of the Sydney Test, which sold out in two hours last week, now selling on Viagogo for twice the price.

Viagogo has eluded government control in other countries. When the British government banned the resale of Olympic tickets last year, it simply packed up its UK operation and moved to Zurich where it was exempt from the law.

Read more:

http://www.news.com.au/national-news/nsw-act/new-laws-designed-to-cut-the-power-of-scalpers/story-fnii5s3x-1226686576552

So, do you think like some do, that these proposed new laws are simply aimed to legitimise the legal packaging and selling of Tickets at exorbitant prices?

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said the promoters would be given the legal power to refuse entry to fans who purchased tickets in breach of the terms. Promoters would have the flexibility to allow fans to onsell tickets at a capped mark-up price or ban the practice all together.

Ticket sellers using websites such as eBay and viagogo would have to post a photograph of the ticket, clearly showing the seat number, enabling promoters to trace the source of scalped tickets.

Not surprisingly, eBay and several Ticket Vendors are against the passing of this law, saying Government should not be involved in a “free market”.  This is a pretty weak argument, given that of course the Governments at all levels, are already involved with the free market.   eBay points to the 2010 Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council study into scalping which found additional consumer protection laws were not merited because reselling tickets in Australia “does not cause significant consumer detriment”.

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Please support Minister Graham Annesley, NSW Minster for Sport & Recreation; and Premier Barry O’Farrell by writing to them:

Premier Barry O’Farrell

Email:  office@premier.nsw.gov.au

 The Hon. Barry O’Farrell, MP
GPO Box 5341
SYDNEY NSW 2001

Minister Graham Annesley

Email:  office@annesley.minister.nsw.gov.au

Level 33 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
SYDNEY NSW 2000

You can use the  SAMPLE  LETTER  below to send to them or you can tailor or customise it using your own words.

Dear Sir

We are very pleased to hear that you are intending to pass legislation to help reduce the incidence of ticket scalping in New South Wales.  We feel that it is very important to enable sports organisations and event promoters to enforce their own terms and conditions such as not to re-sell a ticket at an exorbitant price ( or at least, in accordance with the Queensland law, not to sell a Ticket at more than 10 percent higher than the original purchase price, to cover administrative costs in re-selling the ticket).

This is important because of a lack of will and effort by Ticket Vendors & Sellers and some Event Promoters and Peak Bodies to enforce such terms.

While the Australian report on Ticket Scalping states that scalping has a minimal consumer detrimental effect, this is clearly a reference to a low impact upon the overall economics of the people who want tickets and especially a reference to the Australian economy overall.

Of course if a person who wants to go to a Show doesn’t’ have hundreds of dollars to buy a “scalped ticket”, she / he is not even going to spend the actual original purchase price of a Ticket if she/he can’t find a ticket being offered for sale at that price, so she will have that money she was going to spend, in surplus, i.e. available if she doesn’t spend it on a Ticket because she can’t (doesn’t have hundreds of dollars being asked for).

Furthermore if someone buys a scalped ticket at 10 times the original price and thus has to go without feeding themselves or paying their electricity bill, that negligible consumer effect or debit of money, probably counteracted by having to borrow money, or having no choice but to pay for their utilities by many small instalments, is not to be taken lightly especially if it is yourself or someone you know whom is involved.

People are NOT numbers.  Sure some people CAN pay the inflated prices that scalpers ask for, but many cannot, and it is astonishingly clear that few people care about this.  If it happened to them, perhaps then they would be concerned.  Why not make Tickets be sold for a million dollars each?

To those who say the tickets are sold in the first place below the market clearing price (i.e. the price where buyers and sellers would agree on a price to reflect supply and demand) to try to ensure that an event is sold out (in order to maximise profits), we say

Those who really want to go are not necessarily those who have got hundreds of dollars to spend on a ticket.

It is erroneous to say that selling the tickets starting at hundreds of dollars each will ensure that the ticket availability will meet demand.  Rather, it is a straightforward case of maths that the number of tickets available will meet the number of rich people whom have hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend on tickets!

Please push ahead for this Act of Parliament to go through and do not be detracted by the “naysayers’ and the criers of “No government intervention with the Free Market” (which by the way is amusing anyway seeing as the Government does already intervene with the free market, e.g. Trade Practices laws).

Please keep in mind the “little people” or those whom are not millionaires (and it would be interesting to survey those who agree with ticket scalping as to what their annual incomes are) and show that the New South Wales Government is a champion for the advocacy of fairness with ticket selling.

Deborah Healey, a lecturer in law at the University of New South Wales, and a member of the CCAAC (Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council)  panel says the following:

”A ticket is a right to enter.  It’s not a good.”

Tickets are a right to entry to a once-off non tangible event and people in Australia should not be denied a chance to obtain a ticket at the original sale price, because of un-ethical individuals and organisations seeking to maximise their profits.

Thank you for your time.  Please reply to this letter and we will ensure that our support continues.

Yours sincerely

UPDATE –  here is a scan of a reply letter from the Minister, Anthony Roberts, received 22 August 2013

letter-from-anthony-roberts

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4 comments on “Support laws in New South Wales against Ticket Scalping

  1. Michelle D
    15/08/2013

    Nice work STSA 🙂

    Others can also help by sharing this info by Email / Facebook / etc 🙂

    * TICKET SCALPING & PENDING LEGISLATION *

    Please support NSW Govt in passing the legislation that will let sporting orgs AND Event Promoters enforce ticket conds (so not just Ticket sellers will, in theory, be responsible), & will ask eBay etc to list photos of Ticket seat numbers!! You can do this by going to the STSA post/link & sending an Email using their Template (or create your own).

    * How to support the legislation:
    http://StopTicketScalpingAustralia.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/support-laws-in-new-south-wales-against-ticket-scalping/

    * Online petition:
    http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/help-stop-ticket-scalping-in-australia

    * More info:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xljn1m4g7o8bjss/Helpful_Info_and_LINKS.pdf

    * 7656 Scalped P!nk event tickets for Australia were reported between 19Oct – 20Dec2012 (eBay & Gumtree listings).

    Thank you 🙂

    • stopticketscalping
      17/08/2013

      Thanks Michelle, also for the “heads up” that Minister Annesley is not the one to copy an email / letter to, but rather, it is the Minister for Fair Trading, the Hon. Anthony Roberts. The address & email are below, and if writing to Mr Roberts, you should provide your contact mailing address and a telephone number.

      NSW Minister for Fair Trading
      Governor Macquarie Tower
      Level 36, 1 Farrer Place
      SYDNEY NSW 2000
      office@roberts.minister.nsw.gov.au

  2. stopticketscalping
    31/08/2013

    Just updated the post about “Support Laws in NSW against ticket scalping” as we received a reply letter from the Minister for Fair Trading, Anthony Roberts. 🙂

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