Ticket touts threatened with unlimited fines

Helen Cahill
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Singer The Weeknd performs in Amsterdam (Source: Getty)

Ticket touts who bulk buy music concert tickets and them re-sell them online will be hit with unlimited fines under new government plans.

The department for culture, media and sport (DCMS) is making it illegal for touts to hack ticket-buying websites to buy more than the maximum amount of concert tickets normally available to consumers.

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Tickets bought in this manner are often sold on through secondary websites at a premium, a practice that has been criticised by artists such as Adele and Ed Sheeran.

In one particularly bad case, website Viagogo was slammed for selling £5,000 tickets to an Ed Sheeran gig that was being put on to raise money for a teenage cancer charity.

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The government is following up on measures put forward in a review by Professor Michael Waterson, who said mass online ticket purchasing "deprives consumers".

Waterson wrote:

Organisers should seriously consider requirements for individuals to prove they are indeed individuals by means such as confirmed identity technologies.

Whilst I accept that primary sellers are in the market to sell tickets, they have longer term interests in ensuring the public feels well served.

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