New law set to ban ticket touts using tech to fleece fans

It  will mean unscrupulous agencies will face unlimited fines if they bulk buy seats for sport or music events to re-sell at hugely inflated prices.

London musical Hamilton saw tickets being advertised on the secondary ticketing market for up to £6,000. Artists including Adele and Ed Sheeran have also been targeted by professional touts. The Government’s work places the UK at the forefront of the fight against touts exploiting real fans.

Creative Industries Minister Margot James said: “I’m determined to make sure everyone has the chance to see their favourite stars at a fair price.

“This week we will reach the final stage in our fight to beat rip-off ticket touts using bots to buy huge numbers of tickets only to sell them on at massively over-inflated prices.

“Our work, together with improvements by industry, will give consumers greater protection, make the market more transparent and help Britain’s live events scene continue to thrive.”

UK Music boss Michael Dugher added:  “I’m delighted the Government has listened to calls from UK Music and industry campaigners like the FanFair Alliance to ban bots.

“This new law is an important step to ensure transparency in the resale ticket market. We need the law to be fully enforced to protect music fans from being ripped off. We also need much stronger action from Google which is still directing fans to sites like Viagogo at the top of an online search, rather than to official ticketing.

“Music fans have been fleeced for far too long and we will continue to work with Government to ensure our fantastic live music industry continues to bring enjoyment to millions of people and to make over a £1 billion annual contribution to the UK economy.”

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