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British Columbia introduces ticket sales act

British Columbia is the latest Canadian province to introduce a Tickets Sales Act, banning bots and enforcing transparency requirements for sellers

By Anna Grace on 10 Apr 2019

British Columbia Ticket Sales Act

British Columbia Parliament buildings

image © Ryan Bushby

The Legislative Assembly of of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada’s westernmost province, has introduced a new Ticket Sales Act to establish a regulatory framework for the sale and resale of tickets to live events.

The ticketing bill prohibits the use of bots or automated ticket-buying software and introduces transparency requirements for both primary and secondary ticket sellers, including the declaration of the total price and face value of any ticket, as well as any additional fees or service charges.

Under the act, secondary ticket sellers must issue a refund guarantee to purchasers, as well as disclosing their identity, location and contact information.

The new legislation also places a ban on speculative tickets and on the sale of tickets that sellers do not have in their possession or control.

“These changes are going to make our live event industry in B.C. even better for the people who matter most — the fans,” says Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general.

“The new laws will make the ticket buying process more transparent and equitable for consumers, so that everyone in our province will have a fair chance of getting tickets for their favourite acts and events,” comments Farnworth.

“The new laws will make the ticket buying process more transparent and equitable for consumers”

The Ticket Sales Act comes following a government consultation into British Columbian perspectives on the current ticketing process. The subsequent report reveals the main concerns among the public to be the difficulty of obtaining tickets on the primary market and the “unfair” pricing of tickets on secondary platforms.

The Canadian Live Music Association has congratulated the British Columbia government on the act. “This legislation is good for fans and it’s good for the growth and momentum of BC’s incredible concert sector which creates almost 7,000 jobs and contributes $815 million to BC’s economy,” says Erin Benjamin, president and chief executive of Canada’s national industry association.

Benjamin commends Farnsworth and his team for “their commitment to working with the live music industry” in developing the bill.

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018, StubHub is the resale market leader in Canada. Ticketmaster is also involved in the resale business, through its Verified programme.

Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, introduced its own Ticket Sales Act on 1 July 2018, which banned bots and overhauled other areas of ticket selling. Ontario’s act also placed a resale price cap of 50% above face value on tickets which, along with other elements, proved controversial within the industry.

Alberta introduced its own ticket-selling legislation in August, with Manitoba following suit in December.


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