Western Australia introduces anti-ticket scalping legislation

The proposed legislation would prohibit the reselling of tickets for more than ten per cent of their original price

The West Australian government has pushed new anti-ticket scalping legislation through parliament, bringing it in line with a number of other Australian states and territories.

The Ticket Scalping Bill 2021 would prohibit the reselling of tickets for more than ten per cent of their original price, and attract a penalty of up to $20,000 for individuals or $100,000 for companies found doing so.

Any advertisement promoting resold tickets must list the original price, as well as the seat and row number. Additionally, the use of bots to purchase tickets could attract penalties of up to $500,000.

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The bill had its third reading in the legislative council last week and is expected to return to the legislative assembly this week.

The legislation arrives in parliament weeks before the 2021 AFL grand final takes place at Perth’s Optus Stadium on September 25. The event was moved from its usual home of the Melbourne Cricket Ground due to Victoria’s rolling lockdown.

A statement on behalf of commerce minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said the state government “wants as many West Australians as possible to have the opportunity to attend the 2021 AFL grand final”.

“The state government is making every effort to pass the ticket scalping legislation in parliament so it is in place when general admission tickets for the 2021 AFL grand final go on sale,” a spokesperson for Sanderson said.

“This is being done to protect consumers from unscrupulous practices that inflate prices and make events unaffordable or render tickets invalid.”

As The Music Network notes, there was a similar, and unsuccessful, move to bring in anti-scalping legislation three years ago after tickets to Ed Sheeran’s Perth concert were resold for more than ten times their original selling price.

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Earlier this year, ticket reselling platform Viagogo became the subject of an investigation by NSW Fair Trading, after the consumer watchdog received 36 complaints about the platform, 16 of which accused it of ticket scalping.

A year ago, Viagogo was fined $7million by the Federal Court for breaching Australian Consumer Law by making false claims about the scarcity of tickets and misleading customers into thinking they were purchasing tickets from an official site rather than a resale platform.

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