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Italian ticketing firm calls for anti-touting rules to be enforced, except perhaps the personalised tickets one

By | Published on Monday 1 April 2019

Live music

Eventim-owned primary ticketing company TicketOne has called on Italy’s communications regulator to get busy enforcing the country’s Secondary Ticketing Act. The company says that although rampant online ticket touting is now on the wane, there are still a number of operators facilitating the unofficial resale of tickets in breach of the new law.

Italy is one of a number of European countries where online ticket touting has been a big talking point in recent years, with various calls to regulate the resale of tickets for profit online. That all resulted in a Secondary Ticketing Act being passed last March. It came into force at the start of this year and gives powers to communications regulator AGCOM to intervene where tickets are being commercially sold at above face value.

TicketOne confirmed last week that it had now petitioned AGCOM to take sanctions against those touts still touting tickets in Italy and the websites that facilitate the resale. The company’s Stefano Lionetti said: “Over the years, we have intensified all preventive measures against online touting available to us – but we must go further, because this phenomenon cannot be controlled solely through the primary market”.

He added: “We have never taken action on the legal level before. The facts show that there was no legal basis to act upon [in the past], but now there is a good law in place – one of the clearest and most advanced in Europe – and the time has come to enforce it. Although the phenomenon of ticket touting has decreased markedly, there are still three clearly identifiable sites that continue to speculate on the resale of tickets. We expect that the measures provided, if consistently and promptly applied, can definitively defeat the phenomenon”.

TicketOne has a specific reason as to why it wants AGCOM to start enforcing Italy’s Secondary Ticketing Act with some haste. Politicians in the country considered various measures to limit online touting. As well as the restrictions on the touts and the secondary ticketing sites they use, lawmakers also passed a new rule that says promoters and primary ticketing agents must ensure that – for shows over a 5000 capacity – all tickets are personalised. Which means they must have the name of the buyer printed on them. This rule is set to come into force on 1 Jul.

Although some promoters have used this system for restricting ticket resale in the past, the live sector at large sees the obligation to personalise tickets across the board on all big shows as a major inconvenience.

Having noted that he believes the other new laws, if properly enforced, can have a tangible impact on touting, Lionetti then added last week: “This is why we request policymakers and institutions to reopen the discussion [on what is necessary to combat touting]. We hope this will lead to a reflection on the actual need to introduce personalised tickets this coming July”.

It remains to be seen how the regulator now responds.