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Great News For Irish Sports Fans As Ticket Touting Bill Approved By Cabinet

Great News For Irish Sports Fans As Ticket Touting Bill Approved By Cabinet
By Maurice Brosnan

Proposed legislation to tackle ticket touting has been approved by Cabinet today. The proposed law bans the resale above face value tickets for sporting and entertainment events in venues with a capacity of 1'000 or over.

the Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill was introduced by Deputy Noel Rock and Deputy Stephen Donnelly and today Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys declared that she would be amending but supporting the bill. Included in the proposal is the ban of software used to purchase multiple tickets.

Both Ticketmaster and Seatwave are unhappy with the proposal. Seatwave is an online ticket marketplace which allows users sell tickets for sold out events at prices above face value. Ticketmaster is a parent organisation to the company.

The issue of inflated resale ticket prices is not a new one for Irish sports fans. There was considerable backlash around the issue last month after Ireland's November rugby internationals against Argentina and New Zealand sold out. Tickets for that Argentina game are currently being sold on Seatwave for inflated prices up to €293.82.

The legislation will also support the commitment to UEFA for the EURO 2020 Championships taking place in Ireland. This will effectively ban the unauthorised transfer and use of tickets for these fixtures.

Fianna Fáil Deputy Stephen Donnelly said the move is a welcomed step towards alleviating the problem.

For too long, genuine music and sports fans have been ripped off by organised ticket touting. While there has always been some low-level touting, the move to online sales and ‘bots’ has brought ticket touting to an industrial scale. Recent assertions to a Westminster committee link some of this to organised crime, based partly in Ireland.

Time and time again, fans are being told that all tickets are sold out on the primary sales website, while almost immediately being able to buy those same tickets at much higher prices on other websites. Fans suffer, as to artists and sporting bodies. This legislation is a strong move to protect fans, artists and sporting bodies, and I very much look forward to getting it through the Oireachtas and into law as quickly as possible.



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