Ticketsellers will ‘have to come on board’ with new resale laws

Cabinet approves legislation to ban the resale of tickets at multiples of their face value

The Cabinet this week approved the introduction of legislation to ban the resale of tickets at multiples of their face value, for events at designated venues which hold 1,000 or more people. Photograph: iStock

The Cabinet this week approved the introduction of legislation to ban the resale of tickets at multiples of their face value, for events at designated venues which hold 1,000 or more people. Photograph: iStock

 

Everyone involved in the sale of tickets for large concerts and sporting events “will have to come on board” with legislation banning resale above face value, Minister of State for Sport Brendan Griffin has said.

The Cabinet this week approved the introduction of legislation to ban the resale of tickets at multiples of their face value, for events at designated venues which hold 1,000 or more people.

Concerns have been raised that various loopholes will be used to get around the legislation but Mr Griffin said he was not aware of any particular ones currently.

“There may be loopholes found at some stage,” he said.

“If they are found let’s find a way of addressing those as they arise.

“But the policy all along was to do nothing and that’s not working, clearly, and that’s not fair.”

He added: “I think it’ll be a case of those who are unhappy with it are just going to have to come on board because this is the fairest way of doing it and what’s been happening is completely unfair.”

Mr Griffin was speaking to reporters at the launch of the new national sports policy 2018-2027.

He believed genuine sports fans and other event goers “will welcome it because what we’ve seen time and time again in relation to sporting events has been appalling - the type of gouging that’s going on.”

When it was put to him that ticket resale sites like the Ticketmaster company Seatwave closed down in Belgium when it introduced similar legislation, the Minister said “No one wants to see anyone losing their job or any site closing down”.

But he said they wanted to prevent hundreds of thousands of genuine fans from being discommoded or excluded by people “who are trying to capitalise financially”.

Mr Griffin said “the greater good has to be considered here and I absolutely feel that the greater good is ensuring that fans are protected and that people aren’t making money out of reselling tickets”.

The legislation will be introduced by Minister for Business Heather Humphreys based on legislation introduced by Fine Gael TD Noel Rock and Fianna Fáil TD Stephen Donnelly.

Amendments to their legislation will see the measures applied to designated venues rather than specific matches or concerts.

The Minister was asked about the possibility of tickets being bought up by bots - computer programmes that automatically buy tickets as soon as they appear for sale - and sold in the UK, making it even more difficult for fans in Ireland to purchase them.

Mr Griffin said “I think again it’s by working with the industry and event organisers that we can hopefully come around those type of scenarios and find ways of doing it.”

“And with IT and technology yes you have risks and threats but you also have great opportunities as well to make tickets unique to the purchaser. You can do all sorts of things now, you can align them with a credit card, with apps and Iphones and all that.”

He added that “where there’s a will there’s a way. Certainly you probably won’t ever eradicate entirely the problem but if you can do a lot of it that’s a good day’s work and this is the first real significant step in doing that.”

The Minister said this issue has been going on for decades. “I remember young Fine Gael having a campaign in the 1990s against ticket touts and here we are 20 years on and now finally it seems this is going to happen and it’s welcome.”