It looks like it's not just Canadians that are sick of ticket scalpers driving up the prices for concerts and sporting events, but the government is too. The provincial government is now taking action. A new BC legislation proposes banning ticket scalper bots.
The bill was introduced today and it aims to help fight against tickets being purchased by bots and then being resold for much higher prices.
“The bill will also impose a ban on mass ticket buying software otherwise known as bots that are used to jump the line and quickly buy up tickets when they go on sale,” Solicitor General Mike Farnworth told The Vancouver Sun. “These changes are going to make our live-event industry in B.C. even better for the people who matter most – the fans".
On top of this, the new legislation also proposes other measures that aim at helping the process of ticket resales become fairer throughout the province.
For instance, under this bill, secondary ticket sellers would have to refund customers under various conditions, such as in the case of event cancellations or counterfeit tickets.
"A person must not knowingly make available for sale or facilitate the sale of a ticket that was obtained through the use of software described in subsection," reads the legislation.
"A primary ticket seller must exercise reasonable diligence to detect the purchase of a ticket through the use of software described in subsection and cancel any ticket the primary ticket seller reasonably believes was purchased from the primary ticket seller through the use of software described in subsection".
Popular resale ticketing company Stubhub says that they currently support this legislation. “StubHub supports initiatives that put fans first,” Aimee Campbell, global head of public affairs at StubHub, told The Vancouver Sun.
“We welcome comprehensive legislation that looks at the market holistically and addresses those issues that are negatively impacting fans. Banning the use of bots to unfairly procure tickets is a great first step for fans in British Columbia. We look forward to further reviewing the legislation introduced today.”
The legislation still needs to be passed, but if it does, this could save BC residents hundreds or even thousands of dollars, since scalper bots tend to drive up popular concert tickets up significantly.
BC would not be the first province to ban scalper bots – Alberta has already implemented the regulation. Unlike Manitoba, this bill does not cover setting a cap on prices for resale tickets.
To read the full Bill 27 - Ticket Sales Act that has been proposed, you can visit the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia's website.