Ireland Wants to Outlaw Scalping and the Resale of Tickets Above Face Value

Ireland’s anti-ticket touting legislation may become law. But does that mean the Irish won’t have to shell out more money to enjoy a concert?

Scalpers and secondary black marketeers in Ireland be warned.  The government is now considering taking action against scalping.  In fact, they may put an end to all sales tickets above face value.

Free market economists would call scalping a healthy exercise in capitalism.  But Irish citizens have a different perspective.  In a survey last year, 9 out 10 people in Ireland want priteering from the resale tickets to be banned.  About 86 percent respondents said they backed government action to stop above-cost price selling tickets for concerts or sporting events.

Mind you: all this might result in job losses within the ticketing industry.  But the respondents still supported the ban.

The results came from an ‘Ireland Thinks’ poll.  Politician Noel Rock, a prominent opponent the secondary ticketing market, commissioned the survey.  Rock even went undercover to expose touts selling tickets for the Ireland vs. England Six Nations rugby match.  Last-minute tickets were going for ten-times their original value.

So Rock has proven his point, with a supporting survey in hand.  In fact, earlier this year, the country’s competition watchdog began a formal investigation “suspected breaches competition law” in the ticketing live events.

+ The Nation Canada Sues Ticketmaster for Deceptively Inflating Prices

Ireland’s ‘Prohibition Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill’ is going to make fans happy.  But does it fix the problem?

MPs Noel Rock and Stephen Donnelly introduced the ‘Prohibition Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill’ in January 2017.  That sparked a public consultation on secondary ticketing.  The consultation garnered responses from promoters, consumer groups, sports governing bodies and primary ticket agencies, and several secondary sites.

You can guess their reaction.  In fact, they’re probably figuring out the best way to introduce variable pricing and other price add-ons if the measure passes.

“This will change mindsets,” Donnelly declared to the Irish Examiner.  “Anyone trying to sell at an inflated price will be breaking the law.”

Rock even stated that the law will trigger a broader culture change around tickets.  According to the Examiner, Rock and Donnelly are planning to bring a ‘private members bill’ that is likely to be accepted (and prioritized) by the Irish government.