UK’s anti tout law moves forwards

December 2014

Live events sector


The UK’s House Of Lords has voted to include a new clause in the Consumer Rights Bill that would force people touting tickets online to provide buyers with  extra information, a move designed to make it clearer who exactly it is reselling tickets, how big a mark-up is being added, and what the risks are to the consumer by buying tickets on the secondary market. The amendment stems from a report published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse back in April, which hoped to speed up the prospect of some ticketing touting regulation by amending the in-development Consumer Rights Bill, rather than having to promote bespoke ticket touting legislation to government or via a private members bill. The amendment, which was approved by a small margin – 183 votes to 171 by the Lords with cross party support  – would oblige a ticket seller using a resale site like Viagogo, Seatwave or StubHub to reveal their identity, declare the face value of tickets they are selling, provide seat numbers and booking references associated with the ticket, and state whether the terms and conditions of the ticket being sold give the promoter the right to block entry to the event if they discover the ticket was resold. The secondary sites would also be obliged to ensure this information is given. Lord Moynihan estimated that online ticket fraud hits 2.3 million consumers a year, costing £1.5 billion and said said: “This simple, clear amendment is about increasing transparency, it is about improving and reducing regulation and about empowering consumers” adding current regulations are “ineffective” and it is possible to “drive a coach and horses” through them. APPG co-chair Mike Weatherley MP said: “It’s been clear for a long time that this market is not working in the interest of genuine fans or the people who put in all the hard work and investment to put on live events. Anyone operating honestly has nothing to fear from these changes, but they will make a big difference for ordinary fans. It’s imperative that the government doesn’t try to reverse this amendment when the bill comes back to the Commons”.

Business Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe said the new laws threaten to push “underground” people who wanted to resell tickets legitimately.

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