The government has introduced a new law which will ban ticket touts from using ‘bots’ to dodge security measures put in place to ensure they are human.
The new offence will mean touts who use automated software to buy tickets for resale on secondary ticketing sites at hugely inflated prices will face an unlimited fine.
London musical Hamilton saw tickets being advertised on the secondary ticketing market for up to £6,000.
Artists including Adele and Ed Sheeran have also been targeted by professional touts. The Government’s work places the UK at the forefront of the fight against touts exploiting real fans.
Big UK music stars such as Adele and Ed Sheeran have partnered with sites such as Twickets.co.uk, which prohibits the resale of tickets at a profit.
“I’m determined to make sure everyone has the chance to see their favourite stars at a fair price,” said Margot James, minister for digital and the creative industries.
“This week we will reach the final stage in our fight to beat rip-off ticket touts using bots to buy huge numbers of tickets only to sell them on at massively over-inflated prices.”
“Our work, together with improvements by industry, will give consumers greater protection, make the market more transparent and help Britain’s live events scene continue to thrive.”
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.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 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.
The government work is being bolstered by new approaches in the UK tech industry.
UK startup Aventus uses blockchain technology to make it impossible to resell tickets at a higher price, and British firm DICE is using innovative mobile technology to lock tickets to user accounts and beat the touts.