One of the biggest issues facing Australia’s music scene, ticket scalping will become illegal if a new proposal by the NSW state government becomes law, with Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean announcing a potential reform to the Fair Trading Act that will prevent people from reselling tickets at exorbitant markups, SBS reports.
“I’m sick and tired of consumers being taken for a ride by shonky operators looking to make a quick buck at the expense of ordinary fans,” he said. “Absolutely no ticket to a NSW sporting or entertainment event should be resold for more than 10 per cent above its original price.”
“We understand there may be legitimate reasons why people wish to on-sell event tickets, but we won’t tolerate the often exorbitant prices they’re listed online for.”
The law would prevent tickets from being sold above cost price, and mean that additional transaction fees would be capped at 10% of the total price, while other amendments would outlaw ticket bots that purchase tickets in bulk, and promoters will need to make public how many tickets are on sale for any gig.
The bill is being finalised now and will be presented to Parliament shortly, although Tom Godfrey, a spokesman for consumer group Choice, said that overseas resellers like Viagogo will possibly be unaffected by this sort of change.
A different solution, potentially, would be the development of ticketing systems that thwart ticket bots’ efforts to purchase tickets in bulk, and make it easier for real fans to get their hands on them – although there’s no fast, cheap or easy solution to the problem.
Frontier Touring recently teamed up with new entrant Twickets to allow tickets to be resold between fans at cost price, after 55,000 tickets to the Perth show sold out in under an hour, only to resurface on resale facilities shortly after with ridiculous markups.
While the proposed laws may not be a catch-all answer to the problem, it’s encouraging seeing the NSW Government pushing to improve the situation for increasingly-frustrated gig-goers.