Stop Ticket Scalping in Australia

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Letter to the N.S.W. Minister for Fair Trading

As of today, the Bill proposed by the Hon. Anthony John Roberts, the New South Wales Minister for Fair Trading, has not yet been passed.  Please go to  THIS   post for detailed information about the proposed law.   Please note that STSA approves of the Bill requiring people advertising tickets to state the exact seat number (if applicable) AND the original ticket price (face value) and the terms & conditions of sale, OR at least a link to where such can be found.

However, STSA has some serious concerns about the Bill, specifically that as it stands, it protects event organisers in terms of excluding them from the above requirement.  Of course this leaves it open to unscrupulous event organisers / promoters using this “loop hole” to hold back huge numbers of tickets and to provide them to the secondary market for selling at profits, and from bundling up tickets themselves with other items and inflating the sale prices of the tickets that way.

See info about the proposed Bill at the following Post on this Blog

https://stopticketscalpingaustralia.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/n-s-w-fair-trading-amendment-ticket-reselling-bill-2013/#

STSA has just sent an email to the N.S.W. Minister for Fair Trading, and encourages supporters of STSA, especially those living in New South Wales, to also send emails or letters to Mr Roberts.  His addresses can be found at   THIS   link.

Urgent stampHere is the letter that STSA sent.

We advocate that the proposed Fair Trading Amendment (Ticket Reselling) Bill 2013 legislation should stop unscrupulous Event Organisers / Promoters from potentially selling Tickets way above their sale prices, and thus they should be covered by the clauses Section 59(6) and 60(5) of the proposed Act.

 Sports organisations and event promoters should not be given carte blanche power to set their own terms and conditions on ticket sales to different events, because this will allow them to legally sell tickets for far more than their face values, by bundling them up with other items and making profits from them that way.

 We also ask that Section 60(5) be removed.  Why on earth should Event Organisers not have to advertise a ticket’s terms & conditions (or give a link to where such can be obtained) and show evidence of a ticket’s seat number and original ticket price?  Obviously if they are exempt from this requirement, then this gives them power to make exorbitant profits from selling tickets for higher than their face values.

 If both industry and you are truly concerned with stopping or decreasing ticket scalping, then event organisers & promoters should surely also have to advertise the face values of ticket prices and the terms and conditions.

 You can set a strong lead by proposing legislation that will show the public that you are genuinely concerned about the impact of ticket scalping by anyone, upon the “ordinary” people.  Industry should accept event organisers being covered by the same requirements as others, to advertise the original prices of tickets.

We also feel that it needs to be clarified if Section 60(2) refers to an individual placing an advertisement in a “public forum”. 

 Section 60(6) refers to an owner of a forum, but we are unsure of what the legal implications of this are.

 Is the person whom created the “forum” the owner, or is the corporate body whom provides the platform for the forum, the owner?

 We look forward to your responses.  Please can someone reply to our question.

STSA will post the reply, if any, on this thread.  Thank you and please help raise awareness of the issue of ticket scalping, which is so easy to do now and is rife, because of the Internet.  Those who are following this Blog will understand that STSA advocates that each State in Australia pass a Law similiar to the Queensland “Major Sports Facilities Act 2001” which makes it illegal to sell tickets to major event facilities for more than 110 percent of the tickets’ face values.

 

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UPDATE 20 APRIL 2014

First, please go to  THIS   post for detailed information about the proposed law.

STSA received a reply last week from the NSW Commissioner for Fair Trading, Mr Rod Stowe.

Clause 60(2) applies to a person who conducts a business or undertaking of providing a forum (either online or in print) for publicly available advertisements for resale of tickets. This would mean the person (a term that includes a company or partnership) whose business is providing the forum, and would include activities such as receiving the fees and setting publication policies. The owner referred to in clause 60(6) is the owner of the business that provides the forum. Clause 60(2) does not apply to a person placing an advertisement in a public forum.

With regard to your concerns about the application of the Bill to event owners, the original price or “face value” of a ticket is set by the event owner. Event owners are accountable to their fans for the price of tickets, and event owners usually deliberately set their prices so they are affordable to those fans. Ticket conditions prohibiting unauthorised resale are set by the event owner and aim to prevent scalpers being able to resell tickets at exorbitant mark-ups.

Event owners selling tickets already provide consumers with information about the price, bay, seat and row number of the ticket and the ticket conditions. This information is necessary to enable consumers to decide which tickets to buy.

In relation to section 60(5), this exemption is designed to apply to official resale markets established by event owners, which provide consumers with all relevant information about a ticket and a guarantee that the ticket is authentic. Ticket companies and event owners are aware that many consumers need a safe site where they can resell tickets to an event if they can no longer attend, and some are moving to establish their own resale marketplaces.

It seems what they are getting at is that Event Owners set terms & conditions on the tickets (in tandem with the “artists”) and could even NOT set a “term” or “condition” that the Ticket not be re-sold for more than its face value.  The Event Owners/Promoters can do what they like and are trusted to not scalp their own tickets.

The fact that the primary authorised major Ticket Sellers like Ticketek and Ticketmaster have the original prices of tickets on their sites, does not necessarily mean that Clubs and Travel Agencies and Promoters/Sellers authorised by the Event Organisers to sell tickets will refer buyers to those webpages for ticket prices.  It is a known fact that Tickets are bundled with other items and the whole sold as a package, where the cost of the package is far above the total of the prices of the individual items.  It is the Ticket that is the draw-card.

If a public forum such as a real physical Bulletin board or Notice board is used to advertise tickets and the advert does not comply with the new law, it is up to the owner of the Board, for example, a University or a Shopping Centre Manager, to be advised about the non-compliance & to remove the illegal advertisement.

If someone illegally advertises a Ticket (i.e. without the exact seat/place reference and the original ticket price) on eBay or an Online platform, THEN eBay or the online platform (such as or Viagogo or Gumtree, the latter of which is owned by eBay)  have to REMOVE it.  This means, given that the person actually placing the advert is not likely to remove it himself, we would need TONS of people to report the violation to eBay or the online sales company in question and to the Police.

There are posts on this Blog on how to do that.  This Law will likely be passed soon and while it does not make it illegal to sell (or try to sell) tickets for more than 10 percent above face value (as the Queensland law does), it requires ticket prices to be advertised –  or a source of information (such as a “link” to a webpage) to be provided with an image of the ticket being sold.

Event Organisers can cancel tickets that are being scalped, once they know the exact ticket seat number.  See  THIS post here which says that the Football Federation of Australia will take more action against scalpers if they know the seat number of scalped tickets.

Rich people who have more money than others who could have paid the face value of a ticket, will still be able to buy a ticket for far more than 110 percent of the original ticket price.  It will be revealing to see what the effect of this new law will be on the amount of tickets actually scalped.

 

 

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One comment on “Letter to the N.S.W. Minister for Fair Trading

  1. stopticketscalping
    29/08/2016

    Unfortunately the Bill has not been passed, the “nay sayers” have won. STSA wrote to the Parliament of NSW about the progress of the Bill & received the following answer.

    This Bill is no longer in Parliament.

    Parliament prorogued on 6 March 2015 as there were NSW government elections about to be held later in that month which means that any Bills that were in Parliament at that time lapsed.

    Regards

    NSW Parliamentary Counsel’s Office

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