The government of Ontario is giving the laws around ticket sales a major overhaul. The laws are designed to improve consumer access to concert tickets in Ontario, and protect fans from inflated ticket prices and scams. The laws take effect this Sunday, July 1st.
First and foremost, computer bots will be completely banned from snatching up tickets the second they go on sale. Until now, Ontarians have had to compete against armies of scalper bots that buy out a huge chunk of tickets and resell them for more. Now, they're officially outlawed.
It'll also soon be illegal to resell concert tickets for more than 50% over the face value. Right now, there's no limit to what resellers can charge for a concert ticket. Thankfully, this new limit will provide customers with more legal protection from unfair prices.
The third new rule requires all sellers to disclose the original face value of the ticket, so customers know exactly how much they're being charged. The seller also has to be completely transparent about all additional charges, including taxes and service charges.
The new laws were confirmed back in December. Last year, scalper bots cheated thousands of Ontarians out of concert tickets to a Tragically Hip concert, which sparked tons of requests for stricter laws and increased protection for ticket buyers.
Patti-Anne Tarlton from Ticketmaster Canada told CBC that "there's a vast network of cheaters, both domestic and globally, who are seeking to manipulate and game our system. The goal is for them to beat fans at on-sale and to cheat fans at resale."
But, many industry experts point out that cheaters will always find a way to sell tickets on the black market. Cracking down on reselling will only make consumers more vulnerable to counterfeit tickets and scams, because they'll be "driven off of secure channels."
"The idea of putting a cap on a perishable commodity like a concert ticket is a non-starter," Alan Cross said on The Agenda With Steve Paikin, "You're just going to drive everything underground, you're going to have people selling on Craigslist and Kijiji, you're going to have a lot more fraud. People will pay market value for whatever the ticket is worth. The higher the demand, the higher the price."
To see the government of Ontario's full breakdown of the new Ticket Sales Act, click here.