Ontario AG Naqvi Floats New Rules to Battle Scalping, Bots Ontario AG Naqvi Floats New Rules to Battle Scalping, Bots
After announcing late last week that a survey indicated broad support for reforms in the ticket industry, Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi proposed legislation... Ontario AG Naqvi Floats New Rules to Battle Scalping, Bots

After announcing late last week that a survey indicated broad support for reforms in the ticket industry, Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi proposed legislation that would outlaw the use of “bots” on Monday, but offered little detail as to the specifics of the legislation.

According to a story by Pete Evans of CBC News, Naqvi claimed the new rules “would make Ontario a world leader in ticket sale regulation.” They’d include:

  • Cap the resale ticket markup at 50 per cent of the face value, to reduce the incentive to buy tickets for resale at higher prices.

  • Proposing a ban on scalper bots. “It will be illegal to sell bots, use bots or use tickets sold by bots,” said Naqvi, without elaborating on how the province proposes to achieve that technological feat.

  • Create transparency by requiring ticket sellers and event organizers to disclose the number of tickets available in a sale, as well as the total capacity of the venue. They would also be forced to include all fees up front. Resellers would be required to disclose the original face value of the seat, as well as its location.

  • Introduce new enforcement tools — including higher fines and penalties, and more inspectors — to ensure the new rules are being followed.

Canada’s politicians got involved with the issue after complaints following last year’s farewell tour from the Tragically Hip, which sold out in minutes.

Former Wiseguys Tickets owner Ken Lowson was critical of the focus on bots as a scapegoat, telling the CBC that “bots are only getting the [worst] seats in the public sale. The good ones are held back for pre-sale and insiders … and the pre-sale system is corrupt.”

Sean Burns Editor

Sean Burns is the editor of TicketNews.com. He has served as a reporter, editor and website administrator since the early 2000s. He holds a BA in journalism from Loyola University and a MA in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins. He can be reached via email at [email protected]