Sunderland MP’s new report to beat ticket touting

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A NEW report, spearheaded by a Sunderland MP, aims to stop “industrial-scale ticket touting”.

Second-hand ticket sales must be regulated to ensure buyers know who is selling to them and stop touting, Sharon Hodgson MP has said.

It comes after the publishing of an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on Ticket Abuse, urging the Government to pass new measures which would force re-sale websites to reveal information about vendors, including if they are selling scores of tickets for the same event.

But Viagogo, a major re-sale website, insisted the Government should not be interfering in a private transaction.

Sharon Hodgson, the APPG’s co-chairwoman, outlined the proposals.

She said: “We want a legal requirement for re-sale websites to publish full information about the tickets listed through them, as well as information on the seller.

“We want a further requirement for re-sale websites to declare when the tickets have been given to them by the event organiser, and also to check the provenance of the tickets where someone is trying to sell more than 20.

“We want guaranteed compensation if people fall victim to ticket scams or cancelled tickets by buying them through these websites.

“The fourth key is a national police agency to be responsible for tracking down and prosecuting the people perpetrating these ticket crimes, because we have nothing at the moment.

“If it was just fans selling on tickets to other fans, that would be fine.

“Originally that is what it was, but now we have what we are calling industrial-scale touting – people are using computer programmes that are illegal to harvest up huge quantities of tickets the minute they go on sale before members of the public can even get them, and then selling them on through these secondary platforms.”

Oliver Wheeler, of Viagogo, said: “We don’t believe the Government should interfere in what is a voluntary transaction between two parties, whether that is a house, car or ticket.”