The Australian state of New South Wales’ government announced they will set a number of new rules of the ticketing market, including a ten percent cap on resale prices, as part of a revision to the Fair Trading Act, according to Business Insider. This news comes just days after Canadian lawmakers in Ontario proposed similar legislation, and Australian consumer group CHOICE named a popular resale ticket marketplace, Viagogo, one of the worst products or businesses of 2017.
“I’m sick and tired of consumers being taken for a ride by shonky operators looking to make a quick buck at the expense of ordinary fans,” NSW Minister for Better Regulation Matthew Kean said in a statement on Sunday. “Shonky” is the name of the award given to Viagogo for its “dodgy practices”.
He goes on, “No ticket to a NSW sporting or entertainment event should be resold for more than 10% above its original price.” The legislation also includes an outlaw of “bots”, or high-speed software used to buy up face-value tickets in bulk to resell, as well as a requirement by event organizers to disclose to the public the number of tickets being released for sale to major events.
At the same time, Kean also ensures that “tickets resold within the new laws should not be cancelled by event organisers or venues simply because the ticket has been acquired in the secondary market”, such as with the case at a Foo Fighters gig in London last month.
Finally, he also wants a crackdown on advertising for tickets that may breach these new resale laws, specifically through means of placing an ad at the top of a Google search, though the exact rules for such a law were not made clear.
The main targets for the proposed legislation are Ticketmaster and Viagogo, both of which have been the cause of complaint for many an Australian concert-goer for years. Viagogo, on top of its latest worst product “award”, is also facing legal action from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Ticketmaster is criticized for its hypocrisy, being that it is both a primary as well a secondary seller, and that inflated resale tickets are often very quickly and far more widely available than face value inventory.
CHOICE spokesman Tom Godfrey told The Guardian that despite new legislation, Swiss-based Viagogo could remain untouched because of its overseas location.
“The primary ticketing market needs to step up and invest in innovations to reduce fraud within the industry,” he said in a statement, adding that allowing name changes on tickets and developing better ticketing systems would be a “strong first step”.