Changes in Ticket Speculation Act allows for legal ticket scalping in Ontario

Due to the recent disaster that occurred with the scalping of Tragically Hip tickets, Ontario
Due to the recent disaster that occurred with the scalping of Tragically Hip tickets, Ontario's Attorney General will look into online ticketing regulation. (Photo:REUTERS/J.P. Moczulski PJ/VP)

Many bands are staging final concerts or reunion tours nowadays and the demand for tickets is so overwhelming that many resellers are making quite a bit of profit reselling them for a lot more than they’re worth.

Such was the case with tickets to the Tragically Hip’s final concerts and the Guns n’ Roses reunion concerts. Not to mention all the hotly anticipated sporting events that are much pricier to attend thanks to resellers.

Isn’t it illegal for ticket resellers to make a profit off tickets though?

Not in Ontario.

It is a little known fact that on July 1, 2015, the Ontario government made changes to its Ticket Speculation Act concerning the resale ticket market.

The government quietly made an announcement in the month leading up to the amended law that these changes were made in order to “reduce fraud and give consumers greater confidence in the tickets they are purchasing.”

What the changes really entailed was to allow resellers to now sell tickets at a higher profit from the original ticket price as long as:

  • They are validated by the original seller, for example Ticketmaster, which provides confirmation to the buyer that the ticket is valid; and
  • The reseller gives a money back guarantee to the buyer if the event is cancelled, or the ticket is fraudulent.

Prior to these changes, the reselling of tickets for profit was strictly illegal.

Due to the recent disaster that occurred with the scalping of Tragically Hip tickets, where many of their fans were ripped off because they couldn’t even get presale tickets, former Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur said that the ministry would look into online ticketing regulation.

You would think the government would have realized the floodgates they were opening before they ever made ticket scalping legal.

In the meantime, Ontarians will have to beat scalpers to the punch when trying to obtain tickets to a concert or their favourite sporting event, as legal ticket scalping makes going to these events often unaffordable.

This hardly inspires consumer confidence.

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