B.C. proposes to ban ticket scalping bots

Aiya Benaso / April 10, 2019

The “Ticket Buying in British Columbia: What We Heard” report confirmed that
British Columbians felt that ticket sale and resale practices are unfair and need to be addressed

The BC Government introduced the Ticket Sales Act on April 9th which would make ticket buying more fair for fans.

The proposed law would prohibit ticket buying bots that unfairly buy large quantities of live event tickets for resale at inflated prices, before people can purchase them at face value.

The new changes will also regulate how tickets to live cultural, recreational and sporting events are bought and sold in B.C., online or at the ticket booth.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the new laws will make the ticket buying process more transparent and equitable for consumers.

“These changes are going to make our live-event industry in B.C. even better for the people who matter most — the fans.” – Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

The act focuses on those who sell tickets as a business, rather than person-to-person transactions.

In March 2018, the government launched a consultation to learn what British Columbians thought about the current ticket buying and selling process. More than 6,500 citizens responded.

The report, Ticket Buying in British Columbia: What We Heard, confirmed that:

  • British Columbians said that they felt that ticket sale and resale practices are unfair and need to be addressed.
  • Most buyers said that they thought tickets sell out too quickly for events and are generally frustrated with the ticket buying process.

   The ticket sales act, if passed, will require:

  • clear and prominent disclosure of prices
  • refund guarantees by secondary sellers and secondary ticketing platform operators
  • disclosure of key terms and conditions by primary and secondary sellers
  • ticket resellers to disclose they are secondary sellers
  • prohibition of the sale of speculative tickets that the seller does not possess or control
  • the ability for civil action to be taken by consumers or ticket selling businesses if they feel they have suffered losses due to a breach of the law

In a press release, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Lisa Berare says this new ticket buying legislation will ensure that people are protected with better price transparency.

“For too long, artists and concert goers were being unfairly hurt by ticket buying software and bots. Most of all, people will be able to enjoy the diverse performances and entertainment that B.C. has to offer, without being unfairly gouged at the box office.” – Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture

With files from Lya Fichmann.