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Ireland approves for-profit ticket touting ban

A person found selling tickets to large events above face value will now face a fine of up to €100,000 or up to two years' imprisonment

By IQ on 21 Apr 2021

Deputy prime minister, Leo Varadkar

Deputy prime minister, Leo Varadkar

image © Wikimedia Commons/MoneyConf

The re-selling of tickets to large events such as festivals or concerts at above face value will finally be outlawed in the Republic of Ireland.

Under the act, a person found guilty of an offence will face a fine of up to €100,000 or up to two years’ imprisonment.

The anti-ticket touting legislation was approved yesterday (20 April) by the cabinet, years after the initial private members’ bill was proposed in 2017 by MPs Noel Rock and Stephen Donnelly.

The 2017 bill won the backing of the previous Irish government in 2018 and was then brought forward in October 2020 by the deputy prime minister, Leo Varadkar but only now will it be published.

The bill will be introduced to Dáil Éireann, the lower house, at the earliest opportunity, and enacted as early as possible thereafter.

Once the legislation is passed, operators of venues with a capacity of at least 1,000 will be able to apply to the department of enterprise, trade and employment for ‘designation’ which will prohibit the for-profit reselling of tickets for that venue.

Event organisers or venue operators may also apply for the designation of events that take place on an annual or periodic basis in the same venue, such as a festival.

“This bill will stop opportunists enriching themselves at the expense of fans, artists and promoters”

According to the legislation, when a ticket is sold for an event that has been designated or which is to take place in a designated venue, the original seller must be given clear information (with the ticket and when advertising) that tickets cannot be resold above face value for the event in question.

Resellers of these tickets must also provide information on the original sale price of the ticket and the location of the seat or standing area to which the ticket entitles the holder to gain admission, according to the legislation.

The new bill does not address airline-style ‘dynamic pricing’ or ticket bundles, the department of trade confirmed to Hot Press.

“This bill will stop opportunists with no interest or involvement in music or sport enriching themselves at the expense of sports and music fans, sporting bodies, artists and promoters,” says minister of state at the department of enterprise, trade and employment, Robert Troy.

“And importantly, fans will have all the information they need to ensure they are not being ripped off. I recognise that sometimes there are justified reasons for reselling tickets above face value, for example, when charities are fund-raising, so allowances have been made in such instances.”

Deputy prime minister, Leo Varadkar, says: “We’re all looking forward to the day we can go to gigs, festivals and matches again. This law gives me hope. We’re planning for a time when live events are possible again. Numbers will likely be restricted to begin with so it’s even more important that people aren’t ripped off and that tickets go to real fans.”


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