Industry News

Look beyond the BOTS Act, says Queue-it CEO

Venues and ticketing platforms cannot simply rely on legislation and law enforcement agencies to help them beat bot-using scalpers.

That’s the view of Niels Sodemann, chief executive and co-founder of software company Queue-it, who discussed the impact of the recently-passed Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act in the US during a webinar.

The BOTS Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama late last year, hands the Federal Trade Commission the power to penalise those found to be using ticket bots to scalp large numbers of tickets bypassing the security of ticket sales systems.

The bill also makes it illegal to sell tickets obtained through bots. Both the person who employed the software and anyone who has knowledge of how the tickets were obtained can be held liable for the offence.

Sodemann said that the BOTS Act “prohibits the circumvention of a security measure, access control system, or other technological measure on an Internet website or online service of a ticket issuer and there is a fair amount of legislation around the world attempting to guard against this”.

However, he has concerns about whether legislation alone is enough to beat scalpers and their use of bots.

“While the BOTS Act is indeed a step in the right direction towards the security of online ticket sales, it does not fully address all the scenarios in which fraudsters are taking advantage of major ticketing on-sales,” Sodemann said. “Because of this, it remains the responsibility of venues, organisations and ticketing software platforms to apply the right tools to defend against bad bot and fraudulent online activity.

“A survey was conducted during the webinar, with 53 per cent of respondents stating that transaction fraud was their greatest concern and 35 per cent stating they are not actively addressing bad bot concerns.”

During major ticket onsales, onsale experts at Queue-it and Distil Networks have identified six key fraudulent activities along the life of an onsale for ticketers to be aware of and actively defend:

Sodemann said: “Venues, organisations and ticketing software platforms will gain the most complete visibility of and defence against fraudulent activity by utilising a virtual waiting room with fraud protection features and applying bot mitigation tools to major on-sales.

“Together, Distil Networks and Queue-it are committed to ensuring your fans and customers have a fair customer experience during their ticket-buying journey.”

Queue-it is a sponsor of Ticketing Technology Forum, which takes place in Dublin, Ireland, on April 5-6. Ticketing Technology Forum is a high-level networking and knowledge exchange event designed to address the specific needs of key executives engaged in the development and implementation of entertainment ticketing solutions. Click here for more details