The ticket resale market allows consumers to on-sell tickets they can no longer use. The resale market also allows consumers to access tickets to otherwise sold-out events.
Consumers can pay significantly inflated prices for resold tickets (ticket scalping), sometimes purchased in bulk through the use of bots. Consumers can also find it difficult to identify an authorised ticket seller’s website and a ticket reseller website.
To assist consumers make informed decisions when purchasing event tickets and prevent ticket scalping, both the Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments have created specific laws for the resale market.
- The Ticket Scalping Act 2021 (WA) prohibits ticket scalping and applies to all tickets sold for events being held in Western Australia that have a resale restriction - a term or condition on a ticket that limits the circumstances where a ticket may be resold.
- The Electronic Ticket Resale Service Information Standard 2022 (Cth) requires all websites with the primary purpose of reselling tickets to events in Australia to display certain information.
Key elements of the laws
- Events in WA subject to resale restrictions:
- Ticket resellers must not request or charge an amount that is more than 10 per cent above the original ticket price and must disclose the location of the seat or viewing position for each ticket.
- Use of tickets bots to purchase tickets is prohibited.
- All ticket reselling websites must clearly state that they are not primary ticket providers and provide information about the resold ticket.
An advertisement for the resale of tickets to an event in WA must include the following information or will be considered prohibited:
- Original ticket price.
- An asking price that is no more than 10 per cent above the original ticket cost, including booking fees.
- Details of the seat or location the ticket holder can view the event ie. bay, row, seat number, viewing restrictions.
Owners of publications that publish a prohibited advertisement can face a fine of up to $20,000 for an individual or $100,000 for a corporation.
To avoid publishing prohibited advertisements Consumer Protection recommends that publishers of resale advertisements:
- Conduct regular compliance checks
- Review advertisements submitted before publication
- Track non-compliant users to restrict or prevent activity on the website
- Determine the original cost for tickets and limit website listings to match
- Provide mechanisms for users to report suspected non-compliant advertisements
- Require sellers to provide proof of sale (original ticket and transaction costs)
If you are not the event organiser, you can only supply tickets as part of a package deal if:
- You provide an itemised breakdown of the type of goods or services included in the package and their individual prices
- You offer ticket packages as part of your day–to-day business operations
Use of computer programs that allow ticket scalpers to rapidly buy tickets in large quantities for resale is prohibited and can result in a maximum fine of $100,000.
Any website with the primary purpose of reselling tickets to an event in Australia must clearly and continuously display:
- A statement that says “This is a ticket resale service. You are not buying from a primary ticket provider”
- The total price of a ticket sold by the original supplier, excluding any delivery costs.
An Event Organiser is defined 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.
Event organisers must not cancel a ticket on the basis it was resold, if it was sold in accordance with the laws. This is to protect the legitimate right of consumers to recover their costs if they can no longer attend an event.
Reasonable steps event organisers can consider to prevent or reduce scalping include:
- Including a resale restriction in the tickets terms and conditions
- Placing limits on the number of tickets one person can purchase
- Providing verification measures that ensure that it is a legitimate person buying the tickets
- Providing tickets which include an electronic barcode that can be scanned upon entry to the event
- Staggering ticket releases to encourage people to buy from authorised sellers
Individuals and publication or website owners who breach the Ticket Scalping Act 2021 may be issued with a $2,000 infringement notice or if prosecuted could face a maximum fine of $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies. *Penalties of up to $100,000 apply for those using ‘bots’ to purchase tickets.
Ticket reselling websites which do not display the required information under the Information Standard may be fined up to $1,320 for individuals or $6,600 for companies. If prosecuted they could face a maximum penalty equal to the greater value of up to $10,000,000, 3 times the value of any direct or indirect benefit or 10% of the annual turnover of the body corporate during the 12-month period ending at the end of the month in which the offence was committed, or up to $500,000 for Individuals.*
*Consumer Protection will consider 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, from education to achieve compliance through to warnings, imposition of penalties and prosecution.
If you need further assistance in understanding what you need to do to comply with the laws around Ticket reselling, please see the FAQs below or contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54.
Reselling tickets FAQs
Can I resell a ticket in public?
Resale of tickets to sporting and entertainment events is legal in WA. However, the resale of tickets outside some venues is prohibited under local and council laws. For example the selling of goods or services, including ticket reselling is not allowed in public areas within the City of Perth without a trading permit.
What if the venue says the ticket cannot be resold?
All tickets for events in WA can be resold if the sale complies with the Ticket Scalping Act 2021. The venue cannot refuse you entry only because of the resale. If you are refused entry for this reason, contact Consumer Protection.
What is a resale restriction?
A resale restriction is a condition on a ticket that limits when a ticket may be resold.
If there is no resale restriction, the Ticket Scalping Act 2021 does not apply. This allows community events and charity fundraisers to have more flexibility for their tickets.
How much can I legally sell my ticket for?
A re-seller can charge no more than 10 per cent on top of the original price.
The original cost includes any booking fee charged on the original purchase. The additional 10 per cent is intended to allow you to recover any other transaction costs resulting from the purchase and resale of the ticket.
How can I identify the original price?
The original or total price is the price which a consumer would reasonably be expected to pay if they purchased the ticket from an authorised ticket seller.
The total price excludes delivery costs and can be worked out in many ways. The total price may be:
- the price stated on the original ticket
- the amount for which the ticket was originally sold by the authorised seller
- the amount that was specified in an advertisement or website of the authorised seller
- estimated by comparing the characteristics of the ticket to similar tickets sold by an authorised seller.
How do I calculate the original price if I bought multiple tickets in a single transaction, and paid one booking fee for all the tickets?
To calculate the resale price of one ticket, you should divide the booking fee by the number of tickets you bought and add it to the original cost base of the individual ticket.
I won a free ticket to an event in a competition. Can I resell the ticket if I don’t want to or can’t go?
Yes. The laws do not cover tickets provided on a complimentary basis and you will not commit an offence if you resell them. However, always check the terms and conditions for a resale restriction.
What if I want to resell a ticket I bought from a resale site?
The laws continue to apply no matter how many times a ticket is resold between different people. The original ticket price will stay the same for each resale.
How do I know what the original price of a ticket is if purchased from a resale site?
You can check the price by looking at comparable tickets or by contacting the official ticketing agency, the event promoter or the venue.
Will I be fined if I resell a ticket for more than 10 per cent above the original cost?
Yes, if the ticket is subject to a resale restriction and you sell it for more than 10 per cent above the original price you are breaching the law. Offenders may be issued with a $2,000 infringement notice or could face a maximum fine of $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies if prosecuted.
When there are breaches of the law, Consumer Protection considers its Compliance and Enforcement Policy when deciding what action to take.
What if the buyer offers me a higher price than the advertised price?
Even if someone is willing to pay more than 10% above the original ticket price, you are breaking the law if you sell your ticket for a higher price than 10 per cent above the original price. The buyer of your ticket is also at risk as their ticket could be cancelled by the venue or event promoter if it is sold in breach of the ticket scalping laws.
Tickets scalping and reselling FAQs
Want to know about protecting yourself when buying tickets? Visit Ticket scalping and reselling page.
You can also download the full list of FAQs about buying on reselling tickets.