WA Consumer Protection has put ticket re-sellers on notice as new scalping laws take effect.
Notices have been sent to seven online re-sellers advising them of the new laws and the heavy penalties that they could face should they not comply.
Of particular concern is the possibility of tickets to the AFL Grand Final, to be held at Optus Stadium in Perth on 25 September 2021, being scalped for more than the new laws allow, with general admission tickets going on sale this Thursday 16 September 2021.
Under the Ticket Scalping Act 2021, ticket re-sellers are limited to a maximum ten per cent mark-up from the original price. Re-sold tickets must disclose the location of the seat or viewing spot for each ticket. Offenders face a fine of $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies.
Also banned is the use of software, known as ‘bots’, which are designed to by-pass security measures in order to purchase tickets in bulk. This offence carries penalties of a $100,000 fine for individuals and $500,000 for companies.
In his communication with the re-sellers, Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe warned them against price gouging.
“I have expressed to these sites my concern about the activities of ticket scalpers that frequently purchase tickets to major events and then resell those tickets at highly inflated prices,” Mr Newcombe said.
“I told them that, with the AFL Grand Final coming to Western Australia for the first time, dedicated fans should be able to confidently purchase tickets at a fairer price within the resale market.
“We will be proactively monitoring resale websites to ensure that tickets are advertised for resale in line with the new laws and we will investigate complaints received from consumers. Consumer Protection compliance officers will also be at Optus Stadium on Grand Final day to deal first-hand with consumers who may have purchased invalid tickets due to the law being breached.”
Consumer Protection recommends only purchasing tickets from authorised sellers to avoid any disappointment and, in the case of the Grand Final, that’s the official AFL site at afl.com.au/tickets.
“In the desperation to buy tickets to major events, such as the AFL Grand Final, consumers should not necessarily choose the outlet that comes up on top after an internet search,” the Commissioner said.
“Seek out the authorised seller for that event and buy through them, as you will pay the right price and protect your refund rights if the event is postponed or cancelled which is a risk we need to be alert to during these times of COVID-19.
“Purchasing via re-sellers, particularly if they are based overseas, can be risky as people may find that their tickets are either invalid or fake and they are denied entry to the event when they turn up, which would be very upsetting.
“While still providing an opportunity for people to on-sell their unwanted tickets, the new laws remove the incentive for those who seek to profit from the large-scale purchase and re-selling of tickets to popular events.”