Governments all over the world have it out for bots, scalpers, and ticket resellers. In the last week, two provinces, BC and Ontario, have just come out with proposed legislation they claim will protect consumers.
Let’s take a closer look at what Ontario is thinking. These are the relevant parts of the Ticket Sales Actas outlined in the 2019-20 budget, which amends provisions from the previous Liberal government.
Disclosure before sale
(1) A primary seller who makes tickets to an event available for sale shall publicly disclose, on its website or otherwise.
(a) the maximum capacity for the event, as soon as the seller has the information and no later than the time at which the seller makes any tickets to the event available for sale;
Translation: How many tickets are actually available to a given show? You gotta tell us now.
(b) if the seller makes tickets to the event available for sale in batches, the following information for each batch, as soon as the seller has the information and no later than the time at which the seller first makes the batch available for sale:
(i) the date and time when the batch will be made available for sale,
(ii) the number of tickets in the batch, and
(iii) if the batch is not being made available for sale to the general public, the class or classes of persons that are eligible to purchase tickets from the batch;
(c) if the seller does not make tickets to the event available for sale in batches, the following information, as soon as the seller has the information and no later than the time at which the seller makes any tickets to the event available for sale:
(i) the date and time when the seller will make tickets to the event available for sale, and
(ii) the total number of tickets to the event that the seller will make available for sale; and
Translation: As new tickets become available, you gotta tell us how many tickets are in this new batch.
- (i) the date and time when the seller will make tickets to the event available for sale, and
- (ii) the total number of tickets to the event that the seller will make available for sale; and
(3) A primary seller who is required under subsection (1) to disclose information about an event to which the seller makes tickets available for sale shall ensure that the information continues to be disclosed in accordance with that subsection until the time at which the event takes place.
Translation: Ticket sellers have to keep us up to date on what’s being sold and when.
(3) Section 36 of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:
(d) requiring a person who sells a ticket to provide the ticket to the purchaser in paper form if the purchaser so requests and regulating the fees that the person can charge to the purchaser for a paper ticket;
Translation: If you’re buying a ticket, you have the right to get a physical version of that ticket if you want. And don’t even think of monkeying around with the fees (i.e. convenience charge) you might want to slap on that paper ticket.
(e) prohibiting any person who makes tickets available for sale from limiting the transferability of the tickets or prescribing the manner or circumstances in which the person may limit the transferability of tickets made available for sale.
Translation: Tickets have to be easily transferable from person to person.
(1) An inspector may, without a warrant, enter and inspect any place in order to ensure that this Act and the regulations are being complied with.
Translation: We’re serious about enforcing this.
Appointment of investigators
(1) The Director may appoint persons to be investigators for the purposes of conducting investigations in order to ensure that this Act and the regulations are being complied with.
Translation: Bigger government?
Bottom line: We’ll see how this plays out.