Concert Ticket-Buying Bot Operators Now Face “Unlimited Fines” in the UK

You know the drill by now. A hot show goes on sale at 10 am. By 10:00:30, all 20,000 tickets are sold out. At 10:00:45, they start appearing on resales at grossly inflated prices. You’re screwed.

Goddamn ticket-buying robots.

Governments around the world (New York State, Ontario, the UK) have been pressured into doing something about this. In Britain, scalpers are called “touts” and they’re now in the laser sights of the authorities.

Any second now, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is going to announce a crackdown on the use of bots. Using this software will be declared a criminal offense. From Sky News:

Culture minister Matt Hancock said: “This profiteering is simply not fair, so we are acting to put fans first and improve the chances of seeing our favourite musicians and sports stars at a reasonable price.

“Ticket sellers also need to do more, by improving transparency and ensuring that they are acting in the best interests of consumers and help the market work for everyone.”

Those convicted will face “unlimited fines.” I like it.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Concert Ticket-Buying Bot Operators Now Face “Unlimited Fines” in the UK

  • March 13, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Good for the Pom’s but a bit too late for me to come back now, I’ve lost my interest in going to live shows. This style of legislation was possible in every jurisdiction years ago, but the political balls to do it simply didn’t exist, and now I just don’t care enough. Glad for the rest of you, but don’t hold your breath expecting real change in Ontario/Canada anytime soon, the ticket industry is very strong here with teams of lawyers at the ready…


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