Quebec super-tout Lavallee sets up shop in UK
Julien Lavallee, the Canadian StubHub ‘power seller’ who last week made headlines after claiming to the Daily Record to pay venues a yearly fee in exchange in exchange for ticket inventory, has upped sticks for the Isle of Man.
Listings on StubHub show Lavallee’s company, I Want Tickets Inc., has relocated from Quebec – where for-profit ticket touting is illegal – to an address in Manx capital Douglas.
The Isle of Man is a self-governing dependency of the British crown in the Irish sea. Although the island’s foreign relations and defence are the responsibility of the UK, it has its own parliament, Tynwald, and its own legal system, known as Manx law, meaning British legislation – such as that being discussed regarding stricter regulation of the UK secondary ticketing market – does not automatically apply.
IQ has contacted Lavallee, who reportedly employs 20 staff, for an explanation of the move. StubHub declined to comment.
I Want Tickets Inc., has relocated from Quebec – where for-profit ticket touting is illegal – to an address in the capital of the Isle of Man, Douglas
The Record reported Lavallee “pays an annual subscription to venues”, including The SSE Hydro in Glasgow and The O2 in London, “to cream off tickets for star events”. The 13,000-capacity Hydro, operated by AEG, denied the claim, saying it “does not place any of its inventory on to the secondary ticketing market”, while The O2 said it was investigating further.
FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb said the Record‘s investigation “offers a rare insight into the murky world of professionalised online ticket touting”.
“Here was a guy based thousands of miles away, hoovering up hundreds, if not thousands, of tickets for UK events, and then reselling them at a profit back to British fans. Because of a complete lack of transparency in the resale market, we don’t know if Julien Lavallee is a one-off rogue trader or the tip of a much bigger iceberg.”
On the plus side, he’s at least now hoovering up tickets closer to home…
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