NSW Government Tackles Ticket Scalping

Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts today announced new laws to protect consumers from ticket scalping and ticket fraud when buying tickets to major sport, concert or entertainment events.

 Mr Roberts said the NSW Government will set clear rules so fans are made aware of the terms and conditions when either selling or purchasing a ticket on the secondary market.

 “These new laws will improve transparency in the marketplace, protect consumers and allow the event organiser to enforce their terms and conditions to protect genuine fans from ticket scalping and fraud,” Mr Roberts said.

 “These reforms have the support of the nation’s sporting bodies because regrettably, genuine fans have been ripped off by ticket scalpers either charging sky-high prices, or selling tickets that don’t actually exist.

 “Even if a purchased ticket is genuine, the ticket may still be worthless, if the event owner cancels the ticket for being resold in breach of its terms and conditions.

 “Often the perpetrator simply disappears leaving the consumer out of pocket.

 “Event organisers find that scalpers profit despite bearing no risk in staging a major event.

 “Event organisers have tried to address ticket scalping with varying success by allocating tickets to sporting clubs, limiting the number of tickets that can be bought by any one person and staging the release of tickets.

 “To ensure the process is open and transparent, the NSW Government is developing laws to require anyone reselling tickets to a sporting or entertainment event to include certain information,” Mr Roberts said.

 Any advertisement (or similar communication) for resale to the public must include: 

  • A clear and legible image of the ticket, showing the ticket number, row and seat number but with the barcode obscured (so it can’t be copied);
  • Details of the terms and conditions of sale of the ticket, or details of where to find them (for example, on a website); and
  • Notice of any condition which allows the ticket to be cancelled if it is resold in breach of its terms and conditions. If a ticket to a NSW event is subject to a condition allowing it to be cancelled, the ticket will need to have a warning on the front.

 Mr Roberts said the proposed requirements will not apply if a ticket is sold through a resale system that has been publicly authorised in writing (for example, on a ticket or website) by the event owner.

 “The NSW Government understands there is a need for a secondary ticket marketplace for people who can no longer attend an event but need to sell their ticket,” Mr Roberts said.

 “These measures will give greater protection and transparency for consumers with minimal cost and disruption for event organisers.

 “If requested, operators of secondary markets will have to remove items from sale that breach these rules.”

 Since September 2012, the NSW Government has consulted with major sporting codes, event organisers, ticketing companies and reselling facilitators to develop a fairer system.

 The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) represents the AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia, ARU, FFA, Tennis Australia and Netball Australia.

 Chairman of COMPPS and Chief Executive of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland, said COMPPS supports these reforms because it empowers the individual sports to take action to stop ticket scalping by enabling sports to enforce their ticket conditions.

 “COMPPS believes that these reforms will introduce fairness and transparency to the ticket resale marketplace, which is sorely needed,” Mr Sutherland said.

 Managing Director of The Frontier Touring Company, Michael Gudinski, said Frontier Touring is thrilled to see the introduction of these reforms.

 “For too long scalpers have been able to hide behind anonymity online. Music should empower and real artists do not want to see their fans ripped off,” Mr Gudinski said.

 Ticketek Australia Managing Director, Cameron Hoy, said ticket scalping is an industry wide issue that erodes consumer confidence by denying fair access to tickets for true fans.

“Ticketek welcomes the NSW Government reforms in this area and supports measures such as these to clamp down on this unsound practice,” Mr Hoy said.

“I would like to thank Australia’s major sporting codes, event organisers, ticketing companies and ticket reselling facilitators for their co-operation in setting these new rules that make the selling of tickets fair and transparent,” Mr Roberts said.