Ticket touts: tighter regulation looms. Does this mean higher ticket prices?

Ticket touts: tighter regulation looms. Does this mean higher ticket prices?

Ticket touts: what do you reckon?

'Classic entrepreneurs' at the vanguard of popular capitalism? Or are they the bane of events organisers who tire of seeing their customers 'ripped off'?

Late last year, a poll found that almost three quarters of Britons are in favour of ticket resales.

Even so, this is a tricky area in which to legislate. Is there a difference between (i) reselling a ticket when you can no longer go to a concert, and (ii) buying tickets in bulk to sell them at a lavish mark up outside of the concert hall itself? I can’t help thinking that the latter activity is not as well received by the British public

As a committee of Parliament noted in 2007:

There is no consensus as to whether “touting” means all reselling of tickets, all reselling not authorised by the original issuers, or only the shady or less reputable activities.

Despite these concerns, the Government has decided to regulate this area in the Consumer Rights Bill. This (soon to be enacted) legislation means that people re-selling tickets to music gigs and sports events will be regulated more closely, with those breaching the new laws liable to fines of up to £5,000. What's more, the onus of stopping touting will be shifted onto the venues.

We spoke to Adam Lovatt, legal counsel at IMG, about these reforms. In our interview with him, he considers the practical implication of the new rules and warns that the possibility of fines might result in higher ticket prices for consumers:

https://twitter.com/CMAgovUK/status/575642944071417856

What changes are being made to the current legislation? When will they come into effect?

The legislation—the Consumer Rights Bill—has been passed by Parliament and is awaiting Royal Assent.

The new law seeks to try and create more transparency from the

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