thought some of you might be interested in this..a reply i got from the government's culture department regarding the legal status of ticket touting..
Thank you for your email of 8 May concerning ticket touting. I have
been asked to reply.
The Government is opposed to ticket sale and resale activities that harm
consumers and is seeking ways to ensure tickets and events can be better
protected. The majority of fans do not resort to ticket touts to
purchase tickets for events and the Government's approach must therefore
Through a series of summits, the Government has worked with key
stakeholders from the live ticketed events industry (music, theatre,
sport) to identify the problems associated with the resale of tickets; a
number of measures have been put in place. These include providing
ticketing exchange mechanisms and ensuring online companies such as eBay
display the face value of tickets as well as greater transparency of a
ticket's terms and conditions. The Society of Ticket Agents and
Retailers (STAR), which represents a number of authorised ticket agents,
is working with the Office of Fair Trading to develop terms and
conditions that are fair to both consumer and business. DCMS is also
looking at how events of national significance that affect our national
reputation can be protected.
Together these measures will result in an improved ticketing marketplace
for the consumer. Work continues to improve that marketplace further,
particularly in respect of introducing fair terms and conditions which
will be in the interests of both the consumer and business.
The Government does not intend to introduce specific legislation to
control ticket resale at this stage, and indeed, a recent consumer study
showed consumers felt Government regulation was not the answer.
However, the Government is currently implementing new European
legislation (the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive) which will be in
place later this year. This will prohibit unfair commercial practices
and ticket agencies will be required to comply with this legislation.
Once the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive is in force, traders
reselling tickets will have to provide consumers with all necessary
information to enable them to make an informed purchasing choice, or
risk facing legal action.
Ticket touting in respect of football matches is prohibited (under the
Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994). This public order provision
explicitly applies to football in view of the importance in segregation
in reducing the potential for disorder between rival fans. This public
order offence is used by police in a proportionate and targeted way when
the segregation of supporters might be compromised. There are no
comparable segregation or public order issues associated with any other
sport/event. Violent and disorder at sports other than football is
extremely rare and has no correlation with ticket touting. The Violent
Crime Reduction Act contains measures which will legislate against the
Internet sale of tickets for regulated football matches. If any part of
a transaction, from the passing of a ticket to a tout onwards, occurs
within England & Wales (the limit of the 1994 Act's territoriality) a
ticket touting offence will have been committed. The aim throughout is
to empower the police to act against ticket touting in circumstances
where their activity increases public order risks through a breakdown in
the segregation of rival fans.
A recent amendment to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 has
the effect of extending that prohibition to unauthorised resale via the
As with all purchases, consumers should continue to exercise caution
when buying or selling on the internet, and all terms and conditions
should be read carefully.
The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and
Ministers may decide to intervene further in the ticketing market, if
there is sufficient evidence that consumer interests are being harmed.
I hope this information is useful to you.