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New law will ban use of bots to bulk buy tickets

Crackdown is next step in drive to protect fans from dodgy ticket touts

New law will ban use of bots to bulk buy tickets

A new law banning ticket touts from using bots to bulk buy event tickets will be laid in Parliament this week.

Ticket touts use robots to circumvent security measures put in place by event organisers to prohibit people from buying more tickets than what’s allowed per person.

Touts then turn to secondary ticketing sites to resell the tickets, often at hugely inflated prices.

Under the new law, touts will face an unlimited fine for using automated software that dodges security measures to snap up tickets en masse.

The new legislation, being brought forward thanks to a provision in the Digital Economy Act, is part of a wider government drive to make sure genuine fans are not losing out through the secondary ticketing market.

Read our step-by-step guide with top tips to protect yourself from dodgy ticket selling online.

Be careful buying tickets online

Buying tickets online can sometimes be tricky – especially if it isn’t clear whether or not the ticket seller is official or if tickets fail to turn up in time for event.

If you’re thinking about buying from unauthorised ticket sellers for an event, our guides can help you to spot whether a ticket seller is official and tell you what to do if things go wrong.

Big events and artists targeted

The football World Cup, concerts from popular singers such as Ed Sheeran and Adele and major musicals such as Hamilton are events ticket touts have targeted.

Hamilton saw tickets being advertised on the secondary ticketing market for up to £6,000.

Which? recently found a couple of World Cup Russia 2018 tickets for sale on a secondary ticketing site at more than £11,000.

Last year Ed Sheeran took decisive action against ticket touts, announcing that only tickets bought from the official reseller would be deemed valid.

New rules for sellers

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) recently introduced new rules requiring ticket resellers to provide more information around resold event tickets.

Resellers now have to supply any unique ticket numbers (UTN) to the buyer to identify a ticket’s seat, standing area or location.

Enforcement action to protect fans

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is taking enforcement action against secondary ticketing websites suspected of breaking consumer law.

Trading Standards has conducted UK-wide raids to pursue those suspected of potential breaches of the Unfair Trading Regulations, and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is clamping down on misleading prices and charges on secondary ticketing websites.

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