Laws aim to ban reselling tickets above face value

The reselling of tickets above their face value is set to be banned under legislation expected to come before the Dáil shortly.

TDs Noel Rock and Stephen Donnelly will meet Department of Business officials this week, after a completed review of ticket selling in Ireland and as preparation is being made for the legislation.

It is anticipated that the Government will now give the go-ahead to the ticket touting legislation, which will outlaw above cost price selling of tickets for events.

A report by the department on the resale of tickets for entertainment and sport events is finished. This followed a public consultation with groups such as the IRFU, GAA, Ticketmaster, and Seatwave, the latter who have been criticised for selling on tickets at exorbitant prices.

It is expected that Mr Rock and Mr Donnelly will both bring a private members bill which would then be accepted by the Government.

Government chief whip Joe McHugh is assessing how the Bill could be prioritised, so the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs can table the final legislation before the Dáil in the coming weeks.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Donnelly explained: “This will change mindsets. Anyone trying to sell at an inflated price will be breaking the law. It will be a culture change.”

However, detail in the proposals have yet to be teased through and decided by the department. This includes if tickets could be resold in another jurisdiction and how websites will be stopped from reselling.

Of particular concern here is that tickets for popular events are snapped up within seconds of going on sale and then, within minutes, end up on other websites at inflated prices.

These platforms were at the centre of controversy last January when tickets for U2’s sold-out gig in Croke Park appeared on reselling sites, some costing over €1,000. Similar concerns were raised about the resale of tickets for Ireland’s crunch World Cup football qualifier against Denmark.

Other countries such as Belgium have already outlawed the practice of above-cost reselling of tickets.

The Bill to tackle ticket touting has been introduced in the Dáil, but its passage is expected to go to second stage and then to committee stage, for amendments.

The legislative move comes after the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission recently confirmed that it has held hearings over ticketing.

That probe is focused on anti-competitive concerns such as exclusive arrangements, rebates and high service charges by operators.


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