Government’s targeted ban on ticket bot software programs comes into force

Ticket touts are now banned from using automated software to buy more tickets for events than they are allowed, only to then sell them on at inflated prices. New legislation enforced by the Government means that anyone caught breaking the law will face an unlimited fine.

Bots being used to buy up tickets have become an all-too-familiar problem for consumers as they try in vain to see their favourite musicians, sports stars or shows. However, thanks to new legislation and regulatory changes the tide is now turning against the touts. Artists including Ed Sheeran, Arctic Monkeys, The Charlatans and Iron Maiden are among those who have already put in place new measures to give real fans the chance to buy tickets from those who can no longer attend a show and are clamping down on unfair practices.

Margot James, Minister for the Digital and the Creative Industries, highlighted: “Fans deserve the chance to see their favourite artists at a fair price. Too often, they have been priced out of the market due to unscrupulous touts buying up huge batches of tickets and selling them on at ridiculous prices. I’m pleased to say that we have successfully banned the bots. We’re giving the power back to consumers to help to make 2018 a great year for Britain’s events scene.”

FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb responded: “Taking action against touts who bulk-harvest tickets is another important step towards cleaning up the so-called secondary market. Alongside strong and swift enforcement of consumer legislation through agencies like National Trading Standards and the Competition & Markets Authority, there’s clear potential to root out the bad actors and allow a new breed of fair, transparent and law-abiding ticket re-sale services to flourish.”

Annabella Coldrick, CEO of the Music Managers’ Forum, added: “The new changes to the law including banning bots will help increase the chances of tickets finding their way into the hands of fans. The entire market is now shifting with the increasing ability to enforce artists Terms and Conditions and provide face-value re-sale options which are fan-friendly. These changes have the potential to have a global impact. Indeed, the US is now looking to UK consumer law to help clean up its own ticketing market.”

Jonathan Brown, CEO of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), concluded: “Ticket limits are set by event organisers and ticketing companies to enable fairer distribution of tickets. STAR, the industry body representing over 90% of UK live entertainment ticketing, welcomes these new regulations which represent an important step in helping ensure that more tickets are accessible to customers at the right prices.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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