UK Members of Parliament have called for a thorough investigation into the ticket redistribution market after being told that some secondary websites are “covering for” professional touts.
MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport select committee were told on Tuesday that some sellers are “courted” by secondary sites because, according to Reg Walker, the head of the Idirium Consultancy, which works with leading venues, “there’s a finite amount of these people that harvest tickets in bulk”.
The meeting has led to the committee proposing that an exhaustive investigation be carried out into the practices of leading resale websites, such as StubHub and Viagogo.
In a statement reported by the Guardian newspaper, the committee said: “The committee intends to write to the secretary of state, urging her to study the submitted evidence regarding the under-reporting of income by known touts, and to raise this with HMRC as an area which warrants their investigation.”
The committee added: “The evidence session… has shed a light on much more far-ranging and disturbing factors in the market, including clear indications of too close relationships between those selling tickets on the primary market and sellers on the secondary market.
“Witnesses’ failure to give satisfactory answers to the committee’s questions about where companies’ main profits are made, the possibility of even Chinese walls between parts of the same company, and the willingness of the ticket selling companies to even try to identify, let alone bar, large-scale ticket touts and fraudulent sellers have led us to conclude that a fuller investigation of the whole area of ticketing is needed.”