24th July 2018
The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D., today announced that the Government has agreed on legislative measures to tackle ticket touting.
The proposed legislation would ban the above-face value resale of tickets for sporting and entertainment events in designated venues with a capacity of 1,000 or over. It would also prohibit the use of bot software to purchase tickets in excess of the number permitted by event organisers. The legislation will also give effect to the commitment given to UEFA to ban the unauthorised transfer and use of tickets for matches and official events taking place in Ireland during the EURO 2020 Championship.
In order to implement these measures, the Government will support and amend the Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill introduced by Deputy Noel Rock and Deputy Stephen Donnelly.
Minister Humphreys said:
“It’s wrong that people who make no contribution to sport or music can profit from the resale of tickets for sell-out matches and shows. In doing so, they deprive genuine fans of the opportunity to attend these events, and the time has come to put a stop to it.”
“I am confident that this Bill will have the support of the main sporting bodies, of many artists and promoters in the entertainment industry, and of music and sports fans right across the country. It is also a tangible example of new politics at work and in that regard I want to acknowledge the efforts of Deputies Noel Rock and Stephen Donnelly, who have engaged constructively on this matter so we can bring forward workable proposals which will benefit genuine fans. I look forward to continuing to work with both Deputies and our Oireachtas colleagues in progressing this Bill.”
Deputy Stephen Donnelly said:
“For too long, genuine music and sports fans have been ripped off by organised ticket touting. While there has always been some low-level touting, the move to online sales and 'bots' has brought ticket touting to an industrial scale. Recent assertions to a Westminster committee link some of this to organised crime, based partly in Ireland. Time and time again, fans are being told that all tickets are sold out on the primary sales website, while almost immediately being able to buy those same tickets at much higher prices on other websites. Fans suffer, as to artists and sporting bodies. This legislation is a strong move to protect fans, artists and sporting bodies, and I very much look forward to getting it through the Oireachtas and into law as quickly as possible.”
Deputy Noel Rock said:
“With this legislation accepted by Cabinet, Ireland is set to take the lead in effectively banning ticket touting, subject to the approval of the Dáil. The legislation proposed is ambitious and sensible: it ensures an effective ban on ticket touting and also a ban on bots from snapping up tickets. I have no doubt that for sports and music fans, this legislation will be a game changer. It’s now my ambition that, should this Bill be passed by the Dáil and become law in Ireland, we see other nations across Europe replicating it. For a backbencher, getting a Bill before Cabinet has been a new challenge, but one which was aided by Minister Humphreys’ support and foresight.”
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Lucy Moylan, Press Adviser to Minister Humphreys, 085 801 1635
Notes for Editors
Details of proposed legislation
- The ban on above face value resale would apply to designated venues with a capacity of 1,000 or over.
- Venues seeking to be designated would be required to state that their capacity was 1,000 or above and that events in the venue were likely to give rise to significant levels of ticket resale.
- The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation would have a reserve power to designate venues for the purposes of the legislation where this would be in the interest of consumers.
- The use of bot software to buy more than the permitted number of tickets would be prohibited.
- The ban on above face value resale would not apply to ticket sales by charities and recognised sporting bodies and clubs for fund-raising purposes.
- The legislation will include provisions to give effect to the commitment to UEFA to ban the unauthorised transfer and use of tickets for matches and official events taking place in Ireland during the EURO 2020 tournament.
Applying the legislation to known designated venues rather than on the event-by-event basis proposed in the Bill from Deputies Rock and Donnelly would facilitate effective enforcement. While most venues with a capacity of 1,000 or over would be expected to apply for designation given the broad support for measures to counter ticket profiteering from sporting bodies, promoters and artists, the legislation will give the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation a reserve power to designate venues where this would be in the interest of consumers.
The Government have agreed to take the second and subsequent stages of the Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill in Government time and to draft a number of amendments to the Bill. When drafted, the amendments to the Bill will be tabled at the Bill’s Committee or Report Stage.
Provisions on Resale of Tickets for EURO 2020 Matches to be Held in Ireland
As part of the conditions agreed with UEFA for the staging of four matches in the EURO 2020 soccer championship, Ireland gave a commitment to introduce legislative provisions to prevent the unauthorised transfer or use of tickets for matches or official events during the EURO 2020 championship. UEFA will control all aspects of the allocation, sale and distribution of tickets to matches in the tournament (whether alone or as part of a package), including but not limited to quotas, production, prices, methods of distribution and sales conditions and channels.
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