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Sports Events: Online Ticket Resales New Rules

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

The English Premier League New Season has kicked off with spectators once more present in the stadia, and with it has also come a call for new rules on online tickets resales for sporting events.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has called for the tightening up of the rules on the resale of tickets for sporting and other events in a move against ticket touts and resellers who speculatively sell tickets that they do not own.

It was reported that tickets for the recent Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium were being resold by ticket touts for up to £35,000 each!

The CMA propose to make the following changes to the existing law:

  • A ban on platforms allowing resellers to sell more tickets for an event that they can legally buy from the primary market.
  • To ensure that platforms are fully responsible for incorrect information about tickets that are listed on their websites.
  • A new licensing system for secondary tickets sites that would enable an authority to take down websites, withdraw the right of a business to operate in this sector and to impose substantial fines for breaches of the rules.

Currently bulk buying of tickets by professional resellers of tickets who then sell them at inflated prices is illegal, but swift and effective action by the authorities is not presently possible.

Latest estimates show that tickets sold in 2019 through secondary platforms was around £350 million.

The proposed changes would provide additional legal protection to punters who are keen to return to live sporting and other events following the Pandemic lockdown.

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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