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Irish government to back ticket touting ban proposals

By | Published on Friday 27 July 2018

Ticket touts

The Irish government earlier this week confirmed plans to support new laws that would make some ticket touting illegal in the country. In addition to the customary bots ban, the new rules would outlaw the resale of tickets for profit entirely for some venues.

Better regulation of the secondary ticketing market has been a talking point in Ireland – as elsewhere – for sometime now. Two members of the Irish parliament in particular, Noel Rock and Stephen Donnelly, proposed news laws to limit the resale of tickets for profit, resulting in a government review of the resale sector last year.

There were indications earlier this year that, on the back of that review, Irish ministers were considering some sort of outright ban on ticket touting, in addition to outlawing the use of software by the touts to hoover up large quantities of tickets from primary sites.

Earlier this week the country’s Minister For Business, Enterprise And Innovation – Heather Humphreys – announced plans to amend and then support the legislative proposals previously made by Rock and Donnelly.

According to her department, the new rules would “ban the above-face value resale of tickets for sporting and entertainment events in designated venues with a capacity of 1000 or over. It would also prohibit the use of bot software to purchase tickets in excess of the number permitted by event organisers”.

Announcing the move, Humphreys said: “It’s wrong that people who make no contribution to sport or music can profit from the resale of tickets for sell-out matches and shows. In doing so, they deprive genuine fans of the opportunity to attend these events, and the time has come to put a stop to it. I am confident that this bill will have the support of the main sporting bodies, of many artists and promoters in the entertainment industry, and of music and sports fans right across the country”.

Welcoming the government’s moves, Donnelly added: “Time and time again, fans are being told that all tickets are sold out on the primary sales website, while almost immediately being able to buy those same tickets at much higher prices on other websites. Fans suffer, as do artists and sporting bodies. This legislation is a strong move to protect fans, artists and sporting bodies, and I very much look forward to getting it through [parliament] and into law as quickly as possible”.

Rock, meanwhile, said that “Ireland is set to take the lead in effectively banning ticket touting”. He went on: “The legislation proposed is ambitious and sensible: it ensures an effective ban on ticket touting and also a ban on bots from snapping up tickets. I have no doubt that for sports and music fans, this legislation will be a game changer”.

He then added that, assuming the proposed laws are indeed passed in Ireland, he hopes “we see other nations across Europe replicating it”. A number of European countries have been introducing new regulations with regard ticket touting, not least the UK. Though not all countries plan to go as far as actually banning the resale of ticket for profit, even for some venues and shows.