Friday 16 November 2018

FG senator wants ban on touts scrapped to protect jobs

Ms Humphreys is planning to bring forward legislation which would clampdown on ticket touts cashing in on GAA matches and music concerts. Photo: Sportsfile
Ms Humphreys is planning to bring forward legislation which would clampdown on ticket touts cashing in on GAA matches and music concerts. Photo: Sportsfile
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

A Fine Gael senator has called on Business Minister Heather Humphreys to abandon plans to prohibit the resale of sporting and entertainment tickets above face value.

Ms Humphreys is planning to bring forward legislation which would clampdown on ticket touts cashing in on GAA matches and music concerts.

However, Limerick Senator Maria Byrne said the minister's plans would put jobs at risk in her county.

"Viagogo, whose European HQ is based in Castletroy, is an online ticket marketplace for ticket resale and is a massive employer in Limerick with 150 employees currently on its books with plans to grow its staff to around 250," she said.

"I was alarmed to learn that ticket resale sites like the Ticketmaster company Seatwave closed down in Belgium when it introduced similar legislation."

Ms Byrne said she would find it difficult to support the Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill when it is brought before the Seanad.

Noel Rock, who campaigned for the anti-ticket tout legislation, responded by saying the legislation was in the national interest.

"The reality is that the majority of the public do not want to see politicians cave into lobbyists' demands on this one, and would prefer to see match-goers and concert-goers properly protected, rather than propping up the companies that facilitate this gouging of punters," he said.

"The Cabinet have accepted this, and we hope to be in a position to legislate in the months ahead," he added.

Irish Independent

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