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Federal Government leaves ticket scalping action to the ACCC

Federal Government leaves ticket scalping action to the ACCC
June 24, 2014

The Federal Government has rejected a recommendation from a Federal Senate inquiry to amend Australian Consumer Law to outlaw ticket scalping.

Responding to the Senate inquiry into ticket scalping that called for new legislation, a joint response released by the Federal Government's Economics References Committee and Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee rejected the reponse, stating "there is no basis for considering a regulatory response to this matter at this time."

Given that the report from the Senate inquiry, Ticket Scalping in Australia, released in March, found minimal evidence of ticket scalping in Australian entertainment and sport, the Government's response comes as little surprise.

As the Committees’ response stated "as the majority report identified, there is little firm evidence on the extent of ticket on-selling in Australia”, adding “the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's complaints data identifies that there is likely to be only a low level of consumer detriment associated with this issue at present.”

The Committees’ response “noted” the Senate inquiry’s other recommendations, adding “the Government notes that the recommendations in the report are broadly for the industry or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which is an independent statutory authority, to undertake steps to further improve the market for tickets in Australia.

The Government would support any action that resulted in net benefits for consumers in Australia seeking to purchase tickets. However, it would primarily be a matter for businesses and the ACCC to determine how they respond in this respect.”.

The full response Australian Government response to the Senate Economics References Committee report: Inquiry into Ticket scalping in Australia can be viewed by clicking here.

Meanwhile, the Queensland Government is proposing fines of thousands of dollars for the scalping of tickets for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games face being slapped with thousands of dollars in fines.

Queensland Commonwealth Games Minister Jann Stuckey told The Sunday Mail the Government wanted to protect consumers from ticket scalpers who planned to profit from the 2018 event, stating “Queensland’s current ticket-scalping laws do not currently cover all of the Commonwealth Games events and venues.

“As part of preparations for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, (we are) developing legislation to help stage the Games. This includes developing legislation to provide protection from ticket scalping.

“Laws to prevent ticket scalping will be considered to help ensure that the games are affordable for both Queensland families and visitors from interstate and overseas."

With many popular events such as swimming expected to sell out quickly, there are fears that scalpers will look to profit from tickets for in-demand events.

Current Queensland anti-scalping laws only apply to events held in Stadium Queensland’s venues.

Melbourne Commonwealth Games organisers in 2006 threatened scalping rackets with fines of up to $30,000 and individuals with fines of $6,000.

The Victorian Government also warned that tickets bought from scalpers would be void - and investigators scoured websites and advertising sites to catch out onsellers.

However, under a deal setup with eBay, the Victorian Government allowed event goers to sell and buy tickets at or below value.





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