Ticket scalping is the practice of selling tickets to events at an inflated price. Part 4A of the Fair Trading Act 1987 (SA) regulates the re-sale of tickets in South Australia. There are also a number of other considerations when buying tickets from re-sellers and consumers should take care.
Part 4A prohibits the advertising or re-sale of a ticket to a sporting or entertainment event for a price that exceeds 110% of the original price of the ticket, as long as the ticket is subject to a re-sale restriction.
Section 37B defines ‘resale restriction’ as a term imposed by the original seller of the ticket limiting the resale of tickets. In addition, a term that restricts the resale of tickets for a price not exceeding 110% of the original price is void.
Promoters attempt to limit the resale of tickets (whether genuine or for profit) to prevent scalping which puts a buyer in a difficult position if they are unable to use the tickets. The legislation aims to allow the genuine resale of tickets by prohibiting this type of term.
In addition, section 37L prohibits the use of ticket buying ‘bots’ which are a type of software that allows the bulk purchase of tickets online.
There are a number of risks in buying from a private seller as opposed to the original promoter, including that the tickets may be forged or may not arrive in time for the event. It is important to check that the event is sold out first prior to buying tickets from unofficial sellers. There are re-selling websites that may give the impression that they are the official site for the event when that may not be the case.
Live Performance Australia has developed the Ticketing Code of Conduct to assist both businesses and consumers which can be accessed here. The Code applies only to events run by members (not sporting events) and does not have the force of law, but members of LPA agree to comply with the code.
In addition to ticket sales, the code includes information regarding a consumer’s rights in relation to the consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law as they apply to ticket sales and live performances. For example, cancellation or rescheduling of a concert entitles a consumer to a refund.
There are a number of circumstances where a consumer will not be entitled to a refund. For example, in the event that a cast member is unavailable, it is not unusual for a promoter to reserve the right to substitute a different cast member (understudy) to perform.
The code also includes a dispute resolution process to allow disputes between promoters and consumers to be resolved without resorting to legal action.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.