The Victorian Government has announced amendments to the state’s anti-scalping legislation that will target those buying tickets and then obscuring inflated resale seat prices through ‘bundling’ deals that combine hospitality, experiences or merchandise packages.
Aiming to halt what it calls the “back-room bundling of tickets with other items to circumvent existing laws”, the new legislation, being introduced into Victoria’s Parliament today will crack down on scalpers trying to get around the state’s existing laws on ticket reselling for major events.
The Major Events Legislation Amendment (Unauthorised Ticket Packages and Other Matters) Bill 2021 will make it an offence to advertise or sell a ticket package to a declared event without the written authorisation of the event organiser.
The amendments to Victoria’s Major Events Act 2009 will also require resellers of all tickets to declared major events to state the face value, the asking price and the seat details of tickets in advertisements with the aim of ensuring greater transparency for buyers on the secondary market and support authorised ticket officers in enforcing the laws.
They build on the 2018 updating of the state’s anti-scalping laws, which make it illegal to advertise for sale or sell a ticket to a declared event for more than 10% above the face value.
Event organisers must also publish a register of authorised sellers of ticket packages for each declared major event, while companies will need to state they are authorised sellers in any ticket package advertisements.
Explaining that it was important ticket buyers had confidence they weren’t being ripped off, Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula stated “these changes will provide more safeguards and greater transparency for the passionate and dedicated Victorians who are the backbone of events in this state.”
Since the 2018 changes came into effect, 20,510 tickets have been removed from reselling websites and more than 60 fines issued including eight from this year’s Australian Open and AFL Anzac Day clash.
The Australian Open, the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are listed as declared events under the anti-scalping laws.
The Major Events Act 2009 provides for penalties ranging from $908 to $109,044 for individuals, and up to $545,220 for companies.
Victorians who suspect a scalping offence has taken place can make a report at djpr.vic.gov.au/ticket-scalping/report-an-offence, which will trigger an investigation by an authorised officer.
Images: Theatrical productions such as the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a the Princess Theatre Melbourne are listed as ‘declared events’ under Victoria’s anti-scalping laws (top, credit: Daniel Boud) and the Australia Open is also on the list of ‘declared events’ (below).
14th November 2021 – Victorian Government reveals event insurance scheme in move to revive live music
22nd October 2021 – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child prepares for return to Melbourne stage
9th September 2021 – Western Australian Parliament passes tough new laws to stamp out scalping
2nd March 2020 – UK Court sentences scalpers to lengthy jail terms
13th September 2019 – AFL finals tickets packages removed from sale amid scalping claims
22nd September 2018 – Ticketmaster takes action over reseller accounts that bypass scalping restrictions
23rd November 2017 – Google updates AdWords policy to restrict online ticket scalpers
17th November 2017 – Australian Government begins ticket scalping consultation
25th October 2021 – Oztix and Tixel integrate platforms to combat unfair ticket resale practices
25th November 2019 – Viagogo acquires rival ticket reseller StubHub in US$4 billion deal
3rd October 2018 – Ticket resellers included in latest Ticketing Code of Practice
24th June 2014 – Federal Government leaves ticket scalping action to the ACCC
25th September 2013 – Victorian Government tackles ticket scalping with tougher penalties
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