Ireland Battles Scalpers With Ban on Reselling Tickets for More Than Face Value

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If you’ve ever tried buying concert or sports tickets, you know it often doesn’t matter how early you log into TicketBastard or how lightning fast your fingers search for those primo GA tix; the scalpers frequently win and fans frequently suffer. The bots are upon us, and those seats you desperately search for again and again immediately pop up on resale sites for double or even triple the price while we consumers remain ticket-less sad pandas. (Seriously though, how is Stubhub even legal!? Damn the man.)

Ireland, however, is waging a war with scalpers. A newly-passed piece of legislation looks to finally ban the resale of any ticket for more than its face value. These efforts could end up being a powerful precedent for the industry should other countries take notice and follow suit. This is fantastic news for very lucky Irish music/sports fans.

There are a few minor catches. The bill is limited to venues with capacities of “1,000 or over,” so it won’t apply to small theaters or clubs to start. That said, it seems likely that further legislation can be added or modified later in order to cover all music and sporting events.

“I have no doubt that for sports and music fans, this legislation will be a game changer,” said Fine Gael Dublin North West TD Noel Rock, a sponsor of the legislation. “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.

“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.”

Minister for Business Heather Humphreys commented that she is 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.”

If all goes according to plan in Ireland, it’s likely we can see a similar bill here in the U.S. Whether or not it will pass remains to be seen, but even the thought of taking down scalpers and a nightmarish ticket-buying system brings a smile to my face.

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