Govt U-turn over ticket touts

Ministers have accepted a move by former Sports Minister Lord Moynihan which will require anyone re-selling tickets to provide information such as the ticket number, face value and any restrictions imposed by the event organiser when passing it on.

Those repeatedly breaching the new laws could be liable for a fine of up to ??5,000.

Lord Moynihan had argued the move would help to crack down on an estimated ??1.5 billion a year of fraud in the secondary ticketing market.

Under his plans, websites where tickets are resold will also have a duty to report any fraud they uncover and an independent review will be set up this summer to look at the secondary market.

Peers defeated the Government on the issue last year, but MPs overturned the defeat in the House of Commons.

After the decision to back the new Bill, Lord Moynihan, the former chairman of the British Olympic Association, said: “This harvesting is now out of control and volumes of tickets are acquired on such a scale it is proving hard if not impossible for genuine music and sports fans to purchase a ticket at face value for high-demand events.

“I have no doubt that the measures taken today will in due course strengthen the secondary market, address the excessive profiteering which has been the product of an unregulated web-driven market and consequently enable the secretary of state to strengthen yet further his support for this industry.”??

And the proposal was greeted with approval by shadow Sports Minister Clive Efford who told Prime Minister’s Question Time: “I welcome the fact the Government has been forced to accept our demands for people to be protected when buying tickets on the secondary ticketing market.

“If they had listened to us last year, thousands of Rugby World Cup fans and Ashes cricket fans would have been saved from having to pay over the face value for these tickets.

“Why is the Government always on the side of people like bankers and tax dodgers and the organised gangs behind ticket touting on the secondary ticketing market and never on the side of ordinary people in the street?”

Labour’s former shadow Sports Minister Lord Pendry also welcomed the amendment,??which was passed by peers without a vote, describing it as a “good news day for??sports fans”.

“The measures that we are adding to the Bill today are giving greater choice??and information to sports fans to help in the fight against those who commit??fraud or seek to exploit the pockets of hard-working families,” he said.