Just the ticket – tough new laws to stamp out scalping

Ticket scalping will be illegal in Western Australia after legislation introduced by the McGowan Government passed State Parliament, delivering on an election commitment.

This is an announcement from the Government of Western Australia, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. It was originally published on 8th September, 2021.

The tough new measures will be in place before general admission tickets go on sale for the 2021 AFL Grand Final at Optus Stadium to protect footy fans from price gouging and level the playing field by banning mass purchases by ‘bots’.

Re-selling of concert and event tickets will be allowed but restricted to a maximum 10 per cent mark-up from the original price.

The use of software designed to by-pass security measures to prevent bulk purchases will also be outlawed.

Heavy penalties will apply for those who break the law with fines of $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies. Even higher penalties will apply for those using ‘bots’ to purchase tickets.

The new laws, which passed Parliament on Tuesday, still provide an opportunity for people to on-sell their unwanted tickets, but remove the incentive for those who seek to profit from the large-scale purchase and re-selling of tickets to popular concerts and events.

The Commissioner for Consumer Protection will have the power to enforce the anti-ticket scalping measures.

Consumers are advised to only purchase tickets from authorised sellers and avoid using third party re-sellers, especially if they are based overseas. Often re-sellers pay to be on top of internet search results, so the advice is to look beyond them when searching online.

Using third party re-sellers could result in the ticket being rejected at the venue and disappointed consumers being denied entry. Re-sellers often refuse to provide refunds where there is a change of date. Scammers also use these platforms to sell fake tickets.

Comments attributed to Commerce Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:

“Ticket scalpers will no longer be able to rip off Western Australian consumers online thanks to the McGowan Government’s tough new laws.

“The measures target the ‘secondary market’ in ticket sales that has grown over the years and support and strengthen the measures being adopted by venues and authorised ticket sellers to stop the impact of the unscrupulous behaviour of online scalpers.

“Genuine buyers will be given a greater opportunity to secure a ticket at or near original prices to see their favourite performer or attend a major sporting event, such as the 2021 AFL Grand Final.

“Delivering on an election promise, the laws also ensure greater transparency with re-sellers required to identify the location of the seat or viewing spot for each ticket.”

Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Tony Buti:

“The Bill passing with immediate effect is fantastic news on the eve of Western Australia’s first-ever AFL Grand Final.

“The new legislation ensures a fans-first approach for all events held in WA, preventing price gouging and banning software bots used to purchase large quantities of tickets.

“The State Government, through VenuesWest, is a prolific host of major sporting and entertainment events and we are thrilled this law will maximise opportunities for fans to access these through reasonably priced tickets.

“To anyone thinking of using bots to buy tickets to the AFL Grand Final, or price gouging through resales – think again or risk a penalty up to $500,000.”

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