Swift action to put ticket resellers on notice
The Minns Labor Government has put ticket resellers and scalpers on notice in the lead up to major events and ticket sales across the state.
Fair Trading has written to online sales platforms including eBay, Ticketek and Gumtree warning them not to create bad blood by letting consumers get ripped off, that high risk events are coming up and they have an obligation to protect consumers.
The move comes in the lead up to a number of events with huge demand for tickets, including Taylor Swift concerts, the FIFA Women’s Soccer World Cup and the NRL’s State of Origin.
The NSW Government has the powers to punish those doing the wrong thing and is making clear it won’t hesitate to use them.
Maximum penalties for breaching ticket reselling laws are $110,000 for a corporation or $22,000 for an individual. Fair Trading can also issue a $550 fine for individuals for any offence under the laws, including one-off breaches.
Before the National Rugby League Grand Final in September 2022, NSW Fair Trading identified a number of tickets being resold online at up to 149% of the original price and issued $44,000 in fines to eBay.
It is against the law to resell tickets outside some venues, such as the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Olympic Park. The buyer of the ticket is also at risk as their ticket could be cancelled by the venue.
In 2021 NSW Fair Trading issued a public warning telling consumers not to deal with Viagogo after receiving hundreds of complaints against the Swiss-based company, many of which relate directly to allegations of illegal ticket reselling.
Minister for Fair Trading and Better Regulation Anoulack Chanthivong said:
“Consumers shouldn’t be forced to shake it off when they’re being ripped off. The days of buying tickets for major events with the plan of on-selling to consumers at exorbitant profits is over."
“NSW Fair Trading is watching platforms to identify any tickets being sold above the 110% cap."
“Events like Taylor Swift coming to Sydney are a once in a generation opportunity, so for many young consumers this could be the first event they purchase tickets for. We want to tell young consumers – don't lose your hard-earned money to a third party.”
Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy John Graham said:
“Concerts and sporting events come at a big cost to families and individuals, particularly at a time when the cost of living is biting hard."
“We want to make sure that resellers doing the wrong thing are caught and punished. If there are loopholes or changes needed to improve the system we will make them so people are not ripped off and can enjoy these events without paying an arm and a leg to be there."
“Fans can help by reporting tickets being sold at more than 110% of their original price so we can go after the people doing the wrong thing.”