Ticket reselling

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In WA, from 10 September 2021, it is against the law to resell tickets that are first sold or supplied by the authorised seller for above 110 per cent of the original cost, if the tickets have a resale restriction. A resale restriction is a term or condition on a ticket that limits the circumstances in which the ticket may be resold.

Event organisers

The law defines event organisers as the person (including a corporation) who authorises the first supply of tickets to an event. This is determined by the contractual arrangements for the staging of the entertainment or sporting event.  An event organiser can authorise package deals where tickets are sold in conjunction with other goods or services (such as dinner and show deals).

You must not cancel a ticket on the basis it was resold, if it was sold in accordance with the new laws. This is to protect the legitimate right of consumers to recover their costs if they can no longer attend an event.

While anti-scalping laws aim to reduce the profitability of the practice, to further prevent or reduce scalping event organisers can also consider:

  • placing limits on the number of tickets one person can purchase;
  • using extra security to verify that it is a person, not a computer, buying the tickets;
  • using electronic ticketing and including a barcode to be scanned at the event; and
  • staggering the release of tickets to encourage people to wait and buy from authorised sellers.

Publication owners

A publication owner may be a ticket resale site operator (such as Viagogo, Ticketmaster Resale, Ticketek Marketplace, StubHub, Twickets), a social media or general sale platform that hosts ticket resale advertisements (such as Facebook or eBay), a newspaper or magazine publisher. The publication can be online or in printed form.

The ticket scalping laws make it an offence for publication owners to publish a prohibited advertisement.

From 10 September 2021, any advertisement to resell a ticket must include the following or it is a prohibited advertisement:

  • original ticket cost
  • an asking price that is no more than 10 per cent above the original ticket cost
  • details of the location from which the ticket holder is authorised to view the event. For example, any bay, row or seat number for the ticket.

The laws include certain defences against a prosecution for publishing prohibited advertisements.

Reasonable steps publication owners can consider taking to avoid publishing prohibited advertisements include:

  • conducting regular compliance checks on the advertisements published
  • manually checking every advertisement submitted for publication before it is listed on the website
  • tracking suspected or known non-compliant users to restrict or prevent their activity on the website
  • engaging with event organisers or other parties to determine official original cost prices for certain tickets, and 'hard-code' this information into the website
  • providing mechanisms for users to report suspected non-compliant advertisements
  • requiring sellers to provide proof of original purchase, which shows the original ticket cost and transaction costs paid.

Consumer Protection will apply its Compliance and Enforcement Policy when deciding what action to take against breaches of the law. The policy sets out a series of escalating options for enforcement, starting with education to achieve compliance and moving to warnings, imposition of penalties and prosecution.

The ticket scalping laws provide for maximum penalties (court-imposed) for most offences of $20,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations.  Even higher penalties of up to $500,000 will apply for those using ‘bots’ to purchase tickets.

Authorised officers from Consumer Protection may issue a penalty infringement notice for any of the offences under the laws, including one-off breaches.

Frequently asked questions

There are consumer-focussed FAQs on our Ticket scalping and reselling page.

 

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