A new law banning the use of robotic software (bots) to bulk-buy tickets and restricting the resale of tickets to no more than 50 per cent above face-value, has been brought in by the Ontario Government.
The Ticket Sales Act also makes it illegal to knowingly resell tickets purchased by bots, requires primary sellers to list all fees, taxes and service charges and for secondary sellers to state a ticket’s face-value price.
Originally the Act had also stipulated that primary sites would need to inform customers the number of tickets on general sale (see Audience issue 213), but this measure was later dropped.
Although eBay-owned Stubhub has backed the bots ban, the company was less impressed with the resale cap claiming it will have “unintended consequences”.
“Resales will be driven off secure channels into places where consumers are exposed to counterfeit and fraud, with zero protections,” says StubHub’s Jeff Poirer, general manger, concerts and theatre for North America.
Live Nation Entertainment-owned Ticketmaster, which operates TicketExchange and primary/secondary platform TM+ in the market, voices similar sentiments.
“Fans will be driven to unsanctioned platforms,” warns Ticketmaster Canada’chief operating officer Patti-Anne Tarlton.