Government agrees new legislation to stop ticket touting

The law would ban above-face value re-sale of tickets

Government agrees new legislation to stop ticket touting

A fan holds tickets for a U2 concert at the Altice Arena in Lisbon | Image: Global Media Group/SIPA USA/PA Images

The Government has agreed on legislation to tackle ticket touting.

The proposed law would ban the above-face value re-sale of tickets for sporting and entertainment events in designated venues with a capacity of 1,000 or over.

It would also prohibit the use of software to purchase tickets in excess of the number permitted by organisers.

The legislation would give effect to the commitment given to UEFA to ban the unauthorised transfer and use of tickets for matches and official events taking place in Ireland during the Euro 2020 Championship.

To implement these measures, the Government says it will support and amend the Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill - introduced by Deputy Noel Rock and Deputy Stephen Donnelly.

Business Minister Heather Humphreys said: "It's wrong that people who make no contribution to sport or music can profit from the resale of tickets for sell-out matches and shows.

"In doing so, they deprive genuine fans of the opportunity to attend these events, and the time has come to put a stop to it.

"I am confident that this bill will have the support of the main sporting bodies, of many artists and promoters in the entertainment industry, and of music and sports fans right across the country."

A fan shows his tickets for the Madonna Re-Invention tour concert in 2004 | Image: Cathal McNaughton/PA Archive/PA Images

Deputy Donnelly added: "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."

Deputy Rock said: "With this legislation accepted by Cabinet, Ireland is set to take the lead in effectively banning ticket touting, subject to the approval of the Dáil.

"The legislation proposed is ambitious and sensible: it ensures an effective ban on ticket touting and also a ban on bots from snapping up tickets.

"I have no doubt that for sports and music fans, this legislation will be a game changer."