On Wednesday 17th April European Parliament voted in favour of new legislation against ticket scalping making the use of automated software (bots) to circumvent ticket purchasing rules illegal and requiring resellers to identify if they are professionals.
Bots enable scalpers to make multiple ticket purchases, pushing real consumers to the back of the queue. These tickets are then resold at ridiculously inflated prices on secondary ticketing platforms.
A 2019 study of bot activity estimated that 42.2% of activity on primary ticketing platforms is attributable to bots compared to 56.9% human activity. The issue is only likely to worsen as technology improves: the number of sophisticated bots detected was 12.3% higher in 2019 than 2018.
The legislation should offer greater access to tickets on the primary market and lead to greater transparency. It will also strengthen the actions of enforcement bodies, leading to prosecutions. The ruling also allows member states to maintain and introduce stronger provisions.
It is the first time that the world’s largest trading bloc has set a common standard for ticket resale in cultural and sports events. A harmonised approach could prove critical in dealing with scalping, as secondary ticketing companies often exploit the gaps between different countries’ legislation.
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