Sunday 25 June 2017

Government may ban re-selling of tickets in bid to crackdown on touting

Tamara Thaise, Sabrini Resende, Luz Pereira, Michelle Franca and Cintia Marcomini from Brazil after they got their U2 Tickets in Stephens Green Shopping center. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Tamara Thaise, Sabrini Resende, Luz Pereira, Michelle Franca and Cintia Marcomini from Brazil after they got their U2 Tickets in Stephens Green Shopping center. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The Government is considering the introduction of strict new laws aimed at tackling ticket touts amid fears the growing controversy could jeopardise Ireland’s bid to land major sporting events.

A high level government document says the introduction of a ban on the re-sale of tickets would send a “strong signal of public disapproval of ticket profiteering.”

A legislative ban has already been laid down in parts of the US and Canada, the paper says, and would “offer a clear and comprehensive approach” to dealing with the issue.

Other options put forward by the authors of the report is permitting the resale of tickets at face value or the introduction of a specific cap on the price that can be paid.

The problem of ticket touting re-surfaced recently after it emerged some U2 tickets for the act’s concert in Croke Park in July were selling on the internet for almost €900 each.

The consultation document, which runs to 63 pages, was compiled by officials in the Departments of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, and Transport, Tourism and Sport.

It says that the re-sale of tickets for major sporting and entertainment events at a price in excess of their face value is “a cause of recurring public concern.”

And it points to a series of matters that would need to be considered if the Government opts for a legal ban.

These include the driving of ticket re-selling “underground”, as well as the prospect of diverting the practice to other countries.

The report notes that a “less draconian” approach would be the introduction of price caps on tickets being resold, a move that has been introduced in parts of the US.

The contents of the report will now be considered by minister Patrick O'Donovan, Shane Ross and Mary Mitchell O'Connor.

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