Ontario formally bans ticket-buying software, resale of tickets purchased through bots

The Ticket Sales Act will also cap the resale of tickets at 50 percent above face value

Members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario have officially passed the Strengthening Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, including the Ticket Sales Act — a provision aimed at reducing the illegal and unethical resale of concert and other event tickets.

Ontario’s Ticket Sales Act includes rules that ban the use and sale of ticket-buying software; rules that ban the sale of tickets acquired through ticket bots; rules that cap the resale of tickets at 50 percent above face value; as well as rules the require businesses that sell tickets to disclose information about ticket acquisition to customers.

“These new protections reinforce the government’s commitment to protecting consumers in the marketplace,” said Tracy MacCharles, Ontario’s minister of government and consumer services, in a December 13th, 2017 media release. “As we develop the detailed regulations to put them into force, we’ll continue talking with people to make sure they effectively support consumers without creating undue burden on businesses.”

The new act also increases protections for consumers looking to purchase homes as well as consumers looking to purchase travel services.

In a public consultation between February 28th and March 15th, 2017, roughly 34,700 people submitted a survey that provided feedback on legislation that the province should enact to curb the illegal resale of tickets.

Approximately 89 percent of respondents said that ticket bots should be made illegal, while 85 percent of respondents said that posting tickets on a resale site “before selling to the public” should be made illegal.

“This legislation puts fans first in Ontario, and increases fairness in the ticket market while supporting our province’s thriving entertainment industry,” said Yasir Naqvi, Ontario’s attorney general, in the same December media release. “I believe these changes for a long way towards levelling the playing field for fans and shutting down the use of illegal ticket bots.”

Source: Government of Ontario

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