New Law Bans Automated Bots In Battle Against Ticket Touts

The Government has unveiled new laws to ban touts from using bots to bulk buy gig tickets.

Legislation brought in by the Digital Economy Act will see touts, who use software to bypass limits on the amount of tickets bought, face unlimited fines.

Matt Hancock, minister for the creative industries, said: "We're determined to make sure 2018 is the year we help real fans get the chance to see their favourite music and sports stars at a fair price.

"We'll be acting to stamp out the growing problem of touts misusing technology to scoop up vast numbers of tickets only to sell them on at rip-off prices.

"Our work, together with improvements by industry, will help make the market more transparent and mean a great year for Britain's thriving live events scene."

The Digital Economy Bill, brought in last year, saw the government step up its battle against ticket touts.

In November, the Competition And Markets Authority (CMA) stated that it would take action against any resale sites suspected of breaking consumer laws.

Google also announced that it would be cracking down on ticket resales by updating its regulations.

Credit: PA

Just last month, National Trading Standards conducted a series of raids and arrested four people as part of the new initiative.

A spokesman said: "A total of four properties were raided and four people were arrested under suspicion of breaches of The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations act (2008).

"In addition to the arrests a range of equipment including computers, mobile phones and storage devices have been seized as evidence."

Singer Ed Sheeran also took a stand against people using automated ticket bots when he cancelled up to 10,000 tickets in July.

Only minutes after being released, tickets for 2018 shows were posted up on resale websites for hugely inflated prices.

Most listings were asking for as much as eight times the original price of £49 - £88.

The tickets were deemed invalid and were instead resold through official ticket sites.

Credit: PA

A representative for Ed Sheeran told the Press Association at the time: "We are vehemently opposed to the unethical practices that occur in the secondary market.

"We have written to each of our partners, be they promoters, venues or ticketing companies detailing the way in which we expect tickets to be sold: direct to fans.

"We have also partnered with a company called Twickets, which is a site aimed at the ethical resale of tickets.

"It allows fans to swap tickets at face value or less; we are pushing them as the official resale partner and a safe place for fans to swap tickets.

"We are aware and deeply concerned about the websites in question and have urged all fans not to engage with them in order to avoid being ripped off with higher prices or, potentially, counterfeit tickets.

"Once again, we urge all fans to only purchase tickets through official vendors."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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