Victorian fans attending major sports and entertainment events will be further protected from scalpers under new legislation that outlaws the back-room bundling of tickets with other items to circumvent existing laws.
The Major Events Legislation Amendment (Unauthorised Ticket Packages and Other Matters) Bill 2021 to be introduced to parliament today will make it an offence to advertise or sell a ticket package to a declared event without the written authorisation of the event organiser.
Victoria’s anti-scalping laws make it illegal to advertise for sale or sell a ticket to a declared event for more than 10 per cent above the face value of the ticket.
The new measure will guard against unscrupulous individuals and companies buying tickets and then obscuring inflated resale prices for the seats in packages involving hospitality, experiences or merchandise.
Amendments to the Major Events Act 2009 will also require resellers of all tickets to declared major events to state the face value, the asking price and the seat details of tickets in advertisements. This will ensure greater transparency for buyers on the secondary market and support authorised ticket officers in enforcing the laws.
The new bundling law will require event organisers to publish a register of authorised sellers of ticket packages for each declared major event on the event website. The authorised package resellers’ trading name, its ABN or ACN number and a link to the website of the company must be included.
Companies will be required to state they are authorised sellers of ticket packages in any advertisement for packages to declared events. It will be an offence to falsely claim to be an authorised seller of ticket packages.
The Andrews Labor Government regularly reviews laws to ensure they are serving their intended purpose – in 2018 the Government expanded the reach of anti-scalping laws to take in major cultural events in addition to major sporting events.
Events declared under anti-scalping laws include the Boxing Day Test, the Australian Open, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Since June 2018, 4,500 listings involving 20,510 tickets have been removed from reselling websites after intervention by authorised officers. More than 60 infringement notices have been issued, including eight related to this year’s Australian Open and Anzac Day blockbuster between Collingwood and Essendon.
The Major Events Act 2009 provides for penalties ranging from $908 to $109,044 for individuals, and up to $545,220 for companies. Victorians who suspect a scalping offence has taken place can make a report at djpr.vic.gov.au/ticket-scalping/report-an-offence, which will trigger an investigation by an authorised officer.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“Victorians love turning out to big events and it’s important fans can have confidence they are not being ripped off when they pay for their tickets.”
“These changes will provide more safeguards and greater transparency for the passionate and dedicated Victorians who are the backbone of events in this state.”
Reviewed 15 November 2021