Ontario pitches new rules to crack down on ticket scalping and bots – Business

The Ontario government plans to introduce new rules this fall that would crack down on scalping tickets for sports, concert and other events at inflated prices.

The new legislation would target resellers who used technological and other means to buy the majority of tickets, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi  told reporters outside Toronto’s Rogers Centre on Monday morning.

Naqvi said scalpers commonly use bots — software that is “designed to buy as many tickets as possible in seconds.”

“By the time any fan is able to log on, the best seats are gone. Many events sell out in minutes, even seconds, and many of these tickets end up on reselling sites for a huge markup.”

Naqvi said that if passed, the new rules “would make Ontario a world leader in ticket sale regulation.” Here are more details of what 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.

Lack of transparency

While bots draw the ire of fans, some experts in the field say the real problem isn’t technology that’s faster than people: it’s that not all the tickets available for an event are ever sold in a general sale.

A 2015 report from the New York attorney general’s office calculated that barely half of the…

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