Ticket tout legislation needs to be updated as ticket reselling websites are exploiting people looking to attend Irish sports fixtures and major music events, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Alan Dillon said nobody has been prosecuted for selling tickets at inflated prices far above face value despite the passing of the Sale of Tickets (Cultural, Entertainment, Recreational and Sporting Events) Act two years ago (parliamentary question below).
The Act protects consumer rights and promotes fairer access to event tickets in the resale market by prohibiting the sale, or advertising for sale, of tickets for price exceeding the original sale price for designated events or events taking place in designated venues.
People can be fined up to €100,000 or imprisoned for up to 2 years if convicted for selling tickets for live events above face value.
However, those wishing to attend Irish rugby world cup matches in France, Electric Picnic in September, to see Niall Horan in the 3Arena or Taylor Swift at the Aviva stadium next year are being offered tickets to buy at grossly inflated prices.
Deputy Dillon said, “It is immoral and completely wrong that Irish people are still being exploited in such a fashion by multinational websites who have so far escaped any sanctions despite a crackdown in other countries.
“Sports fans and music lovers are being targeted and exploited by the operators of websites who extort them to pay far above the face value price to secure tickets. These websites need to be taken on by Government. Online ticket touts are taking us to the cleaners,” he said.
After last week’s widespread hunt for Taylor Swift Tickets, resale websites are taking advantage of the scarcity of tickets with tickets offered for a whopping €4,454 on resale website gigsberg.com earlier this month for her first concert next June 28th at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland-South Africa tickets for the rugby world cup clash in Stade de France, Paris on September 23rd are being offered by eticketing.co for between €589 and €1,967. The original price on these tickets was between €75 and €300.
Recently, an Ireland-Scotland ticket for the rugby world cup clash in Stade de France, Paris on October 7th was offered by viagogo.com for between €428 and €639. The original price on these tickets was between €45 and €216.
Electric Picnic weekend camping tickets for Sept 1-3 at Stradbally were originally sold at €281 per ticket. A seller on donedeal.ie is looking for €800 for two weekend camping tickets – almost double the price.
And passes to see Niall Horan perform at Dublin’s 3Arena next February were initially sold for €66 for basic ticket to €150 for a VIP package. However, gigsberg.com is seeking between €365 and €570 for the same tickets with numerous on sale on the website.
Deputy Dillon said viagogo.com was fined €23.5m last year in Italy for breaking laws.
“Prior to this, the same website was fined €3.7m in 2020 for a similar offence. Italy has introduced tough laws on the resale of tickets. Only sellers, previously authorised by a show’s promoter, can sell tickets in the country. Individual ticket buyers can then re-sell tickets for shows they cannot attend, but only at face value or less.
“If a website acts as a facilitator to those who want to exploit others with above face value tickets, they need to be taken on and tackled. Facilitating exploitation is as much an offence as those seeking to gain from the inflated and unfair resale.
“If we need to expand the legislation, let’s do that but this system where online touting flourishes cannot continue,” Deputy Dillon said.
Notes to editors:
New law banning ticket touting came into force 2 years ago yet there have been no prosecutions for ticket touting. Ticket Touting – Tuesday, 13 Jun 2023 – Parliamentary Questions (33rd Dáil) – Houses of the Oireachtas