Today marks a momentous day for VenuesWest and its partners. VenuesWest, as the agency charged with responsibility for the State’s major sporting and entertainment infrastructure is delighted that the Ticket Scalping Act 2021 has been passed with immediate effect and has worked collaboratively with the Department of Mining, Industry Regulation and Safety in its development and progression.
The new legislation unashamedly puts fans first and reflects the government’s commitment to providing strong protection for consumers and delivery of an election promise.
This is a very significant step for VenuesWest's customers, promoters, artists and sporting clubs alike. The Ticket Scalping Act 2021 focusses on agencies and resale businesses who resell event tickets at more than 10% above their face value and in the long term will protect all ticket buyers at our venues. It ensures that ticket buyers will not only pay the most appropriate price for a ticket but they are less likely to be turned away from an event due to the possession of an invalid ticket. The law effectively targets the very operating environment upon which these agencies are built, by banning the use of ‘bots’ to harvest websites for tickets.
Consequences for those attempting to resell tickets above the 110% imposed limit will see individuals face criminal penalties and fines of up to $20,000 while companies can expect a $100,000 penalty. Those who have been found to use the banned bots to bulk purchase tickets can face a $50,000 penalty.
Sports, the performing arts and other live entertainment events play an integral role in the lives of the Australian public and increasingly, issues arise when consumers are unable to access tickets to major events. Reselling agenices are utilising sophisticated software to bypass computer security systems to bulk purchase ticket which has a detrimental impact on genuine fans who miss out or end up paying vastly inflated prices.
Scalping is the scourge of the live event industry. The reputation of a performer is significant and an increasing consciousness to maximise the opportunity for fans to access performances through reasonably priced tickets is being observed in the industry. This is largely driven through the need for contemporary artists to tour more. When resellers then inflate ticket prices to reap profits, artists unfairly suffer negative publicity and paradoxically do not receive the economic benefit of the higher ticket price. Additionally, the goodwill of the promoter can be affected when fans believe they have been priced out of the market by onsellers. Compounding this issue, when tickets are subsequently cancelled because they have been resold and are in breach of the terms and conditions - promoters often receive a backlash from consumers directly.
VenuesWest has always taken a very strong stance on the protection of sports and entertainment fans in Western Australia, and today we are very proud that we move another step closer to ensuring that these fans’ experiences come first.
VenuesWest will continue to work with Consumer Protection to promote increased consumer awareness of ticket scalping practices.