The government have agreed to back legislation that seeks to protect people buying gig tickets on the secondary market from fraud.
Conservative peer Lord Moynihan tabled an amendment to the consumer rights bill that will ensure that fans buying tickets from companies such as Viagogo, Stubhub and Seatwave will know exact details of what they are buying while efforts will also be made to stop individual touts buying large amounts of tickets and reselling them at inflated prices.
Details which will be legally required to be provided by ticketing companies include the row, seat, face value, age restrictions and name of the ticket’s original seller, none of which are currently required by law to be provided. It is hoped that these measures will help stamp out the sale of counterfeit tickets. The amendment will be enacted when the consumer rights bill becomes law later this year.
Speaking to The Guardian, Moynihan said: “One of the major reasons why you can’t get tickets for high-demand events as a member of the public is because there’s specialised software available to touts which sweeps up the supply within a nanosecond of them going on sale. Then those tickets are made available on the secondary market at sometimes five or 10 times the price. From now on that process is restricted, because you have to have the seat number, row number and so on.”
A spokesperson for Viagogo said: “It’s business as usual at Viagogo. Ticket resale was legal yesterday, is legal today, and will still be legal tomorrow. The only practical implications of the new legislation are that we might need to publish some additional information about the tickets on our site later this year, but we were already working with the Government on that. What’s important is that the basic principle of being able to buy and sell tickets on secure platforms like ours has not changed.”
The amendment, expected to be made law within three months, also puts a duty on culture secretary Sajid Javid to review the entire secondary ticketing market within the next year.