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Anti-touting laws would just send business online - minister

Enterprise minister Richard Bruton says it’s up to ticket sellers to enforce anti-touting rules – and that legislation wouldn’t help.

Bruce Springsteen fans who missed out on getting tickets this morning may have to go to turn to the touts.
Bruce Springsteen fans who missed out on getting tickets this morning may have to go to turn to the touts.
Image: Jason DeCrow/AP

IRELAND IS UNLIKELY to propose new laws outlawing ticket touting – because the government believes legislation banning it may not be able to stop the problem.

Enterprise minister Richard Bruton has said that bringing in new laws, making it illegal to sell tickets for higher than their face value, would probably just send more touts online to sell their tickets on websites based in other countries.

In response to a parliamentary question from Labour backbencher Tommy Broughan, Bruton said it was up to ticket agents and promoters to enforce the regulations which many of them already had in place – including the authority to avoid a ticket if it had been resold for profit.

“Effective enforcement of these terms and conditions would go a long way towards stopping the resale of event tickets at the exorbitant prices referred to”, Bruton said.

Though the minister did not rule out bringing in legislation if the other approaches were ineffective, he said that making touting a criminal activity may not be an “appropriate or proportionate response” in trying to stop it from happening.

“The online nature of these activities means that a legislative prohibition in one jurisdiction may simply lead such businesses to relocate elsewhere,” he said.

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Gavan Reilly

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