Ticket touts targeted by fresh government legislation

The Government has delivered another blow in the battle against ticket touts by enforcing new rules to protect consumers.

The move comes just a week after search engine giant Google issued its own clamp down on rogue resellers.

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Under the new Government measures, which come into force in April, sellers on secondary ticket websites will be required to provide far more detailed information about the tickets so buyers can make an informed choice.

Touts that breach the regulations face fines of up to £5,000 for each offence.

Consumer minister Andrew Griffiths said: “All too often people are left feeling ripped off when buying tickets from resale websites.

“Whether it’s a major music festival or a stadium concert, people want to know they’re paying a fair price for tickets to see the events they love.

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“We are already taking steps to crack down on touts using ‘bots’ to bulk buy tickets for resale and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating suspected breaches of consumer protection law online and today we are going even further, making it easier for consumers to understand what they are buying to help save them from rip-off ticket prices.”

The changes will mean those re-selling tickets for any event will be forced to provide the location the ticket provides access to - such as the seat or standing area and any restrictions which apply to who can use the ticket.

Sellers will also be made to disclose their link to either the online facility they are using to sell the ticket or event organiser. And crucially, they will have to reveal the original price of the ticket.

Resellers will also have to reveal the unique ticket number (UTN) to any buyer, if it was provided in the original sale.

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Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “We want real fans to get the chance to see their favourite stars at a fair price.

“That is why we are clamping down on touts using bots to buy huge numbers of tickets, only to sell them on at rip-off prices.

“Today’s guidance will give consumers even greater protection and transparency in the secondary market, helping Britain’s live events scene to continue to thrive.”

Last week, Google issued its own clamp down on rogue resellers, demanding all secondary ticket websites must be “certified” before they can advertise on the search engine.

To obtain Google certification, resellers now need to be more transparent in their transactions including providing original ticket prices.