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UK govt bolsters secondary ticketing regs

The new guidelines, announced this morning by consumer minister Andrew Griffiths, for the first time require a 'unique ticket number' to be supplied by resellers

By IQ on 15 Feb 2018

Andrew Griffiths, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility

image © Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament

The British government has announced new regulations intended to protect UK consumers from “rip-off” secondary ticket prices.

Under the new rules, which come into force in April, resellers will be required to provide information about tickets, including the location of seats, disclosure of any restrictions and the original price of the ticket itself, as required by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

For the first time, secondary sellers will also have to supply a unique ticket number (UTN) if the event promoter or primary seller specifies one, helping consumers identify the ticket’s seat, standing area or location.

Businesses who fail to comply are liable to face a fine of up to £5,000 for each breach, according to guidance published today.

Consumer minister Andrew Griffiths (pictured) says: “All too often, people are left feeling ripped off when buying tickets from resale websites. Whether it’s a major music festival or a stadium concert, people want to know they’re paying a fair price for tickets to see the events they love.  

“If properly enforced, we believe these updates will better protect UK audiences and event organisers”

“We are already taking steps to crack down on touts using bots to bulk buy tickets for resale and the CMA is investigating suspected breaches of consumer protection law online, and today we are going even further, making it easier for consumers to understand what they are buying to help save them from rip off ticket prices.”

“Later this year, we will also publish a consumer green paper which will examine how we can help people to engage with markets to find the best deals,” he adds.

Adam Webb, campaign manager for anti-touting group FanFair Alliance, welcomes the announcement, saying that, “if properly enforced, we believe these updates will better protect UK audiences and event organisers. They should also provide greater clarity to secondary ticketing platforms of their legal responsibilities, and increase overall transparency in what is frequently a murky and under-regulated sector.”


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