Western Australia introduces anti-ticket scalping bill

Western Australia’s crackdown on ticket resales is proving successful as the bill passes the Legislative Council.

Western Australia’s Ticket Scalping Bill 2021 will prohibit the reselling of tickets for more than ten per cent of their original price, with penalties of up to $20,000 for individuals or $100,000 for companies found doing so.

Western Australia is streamlining anti-scalping measures before tickets to the AFL Grand Final in Perth go on sale.

AFL Grand Final Western Australia
Image: Jason Edwards/Herald Sun

The state government is making every effort to pass the ticket scalping legislation in parliament so it is in place when general admission tickets for the 2021 AFL grand final go on sale,” a spokesperson for Commerce Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said.

This is being done to protect consumers from unscrupulous practices that inflate prices and make events unaffordable or render tickets invalid.”

The state’s entertainment sector has been pushing for this protection for a while now.

Three years ago, there was an unsuccessful move to initiate this legislation in WA, after high levels of ticket scalping occurred.

According to The Music Network, in 2018, $166 tickets to Ed Sheeran’s Perth concert were resold for more than 10 times their face value.

Ticket scalpers also attempted to resell free tickets to a Birds of Tokyo show at Wanneroo Showgrounds.

To avoid creating loopholes for ticket scalpers, the new laws will also ban the use of software, known as “bots“, designed to dodge security measures on ticket-selling websites, potentially attracting fines of up to $500,000.

Ticket sales and distribution company Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program helps to identify fans who truly want to attend the show and restricts ticket access to scalpers and bots.

In 2020, two ticket scalpers in London were given over six years in prison after earning over £10.8 million (around $20 million AUD) in profits from reselling Ed Sheeran, Adele, and Taylor Swift Tickets.

For seven years, the couple used bot software and a slew of different identities to scalp concert and theatre tickets.

The Ticket Scalping Bill 2021 had its third reading in the legislative council last week and is expected to return to the legislative assembly this week.