Following their announcement of intent to change ticket resale laws, New South Wales has become the first state in Australia to outlaw the use of ticket bots, among other legislation and a promise of some pretty steep fines if broken.
“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 earlier this month. “We will stop the bots.”
Today, ABC Online announced that the The Fair Trading Amendment (Ticket Scalping and Gift Cards) Bill 2017, an Amendment of Fair Trading Act 1987, had passed through the Parliament of New South Wales. The new laws are as follows:
- Outlaws the use of bots – software that allows ticket scalpers to buy lots of tickets before anyone else.
- Cap resale price of tickets within 10 per cent of original price.
- Prohibits ads for the resale of event tickets that go over this 10 per cent cap.
- Gives the Government the power to order event organisers to disclose the number of tickets available for sale to the public.
Brokers who resell tickets at more than 10 percent above face value, and websites and publications that promote these tickets, will face fines of up to $22,000 for individuals and $110,000 for corporations. NSW Fair Trading is now allowed to investigate complaints about scalping and bot use, and has been given “the powers they need to crack down”.
Multiple sources have expressed concerns about the difficulty in tracking down bot software which is, of course, designed to be undetectable.
The Minister, who is now able to order event organizers to tell the public how many tickets will be up for sale for any given event, says he will request this for events likely to be sold out.
“The Rugby League grand final, the major semi-finals in other sporting codes, the Ashes, we’ve got Sia coming to Sydney,” he said. “This business where promoters say ‘get your tickets last chance once concert only’ and then you find there’s four more concerts, that is a marketing technique being used to screw consumers.”