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Ticket sales companies raise concern over timing of ticket touting bill due to effect of pandemic on events sector

The bill proposes to ban the above price resale of tickets for live events.

Image: Shutterstock

CONCERNS HAVE BEEN raised by ticket sellers about plans by the government to ban the above price reselling of tickets, arguing that the sector is seeking to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment will this morning hear an update from officials on the general scheme of the Sale of Tickets Bill 2020.

The bill is aimed at dealing with the problem of so-called ticket-touting for major events, such as sports matches and concerts at venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or more. 

The bill proposes to ban the above price resale of tickets for live events at such venues and proposes penalties of a fine of up to €100,000 or up to two years imprisonment

Ahead of the committee’s meeting, a briefing note outlined some of the submissions received by stakeholders ahead of pre-legislative scrutiny of the bill. 

Among the submissions received, the briefing note recorded that ticket sales company Tickets.ie suggested that the government put the proposed bill on hold for 12 months and “prioritise the shaping of the re-emergence of the live events sector”.
Tickets.ie also argued that the legislation is only “a sticking plaster” and that the ticket resale market “exists due to a failure of the live events industry to address its pricing problem”. 

Live Nation, the global live music entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, also raised concerns about the timing of the bill. 

In its submission it noted the impact of the pandemic on the sector and stated that “the current priority must be to get the sector working again”. 

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Live Nation adds the bill “imposes new conditions on the market” and that the prohibition of resale in other countries drove people to “disreputable offshore platforms”. 

Officials speaking on behalf of the department will also tell the committee that Covid-19 restrictions at events “in the not too distant future” may require attendance restrictions and that this may “increase the competition for tickets” and could “create both incentive and opportunity for the resale of tickets at inflated prices”.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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