Ontario government tables legislation that would make ticket bots illegal

ticket image

The Government of Ontario has proposed legislation aimed at improving customer protections on real estate, travel services and, notably, online ticket scalping.

If passed, the legislation would ban ticket bots that automatically purchase event tickets from sites like Ticketmaster. Additionally, the legislation would prevent individuals reselling tickets from charging more than 50 percent greater than the tickets’ initial face value.

“Stronger rules for buying and selling tickets will help give fans a fair shot at getting music, sports or theatre tickets,” said Yasir Naqvi, Ontario’s attorney general, in an October 5th, 2017 media release. “Our proposed changes will ban bots and excessive markups, prevent fraud and provide more information in the ticket industry.”

The proposed legislation is no doubt a result of a public consultation between February 28 and March 15, 2017, aimed at identifying concerns about ticket buying and resale.

Roughly 34,700 people completed the survey online, with most respondents — 41 percent — falling into the 25 to 34 years of age bracket. Approximately 89 percent of respondents said that ticket-buying software should be made illegal, while 85 percent said that posting tickets on a resale site “before selling to the public” should be made illegal.

Respondents also expressed a desire for greater transparency, with 90 percent of respondents saying that primary ticket sellers should disclose the original face value of a ticket being resold.

Source: Government of Ontario

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