Irish politician Noel Rock has again called for new ticketing laws after exposing touts selling tickets for this weekend’s Ireland v England Six Nations game for more than 10 times the market value in an undercover sting.
The Fine Gael TD met up with a tout that was asking for €550 (£478/$591) per ticket for Saturday’s game. Rock recorded the meeting, revealing that the man attempting to sell the tickets had obtained his inventory via a club, the Irish Sun newspaper reports.
The tout was also recorded saying when questioned about whether it was fair to charge so much for the tickets: “I’m just going with supply and demand… if you don’t want them it is fine.”
In another instance, Rock made a phone call to a different tout who has been running a business from an office and was asking for €1,800 for three tickets. Some touts are charging up to €1,000 per ticket.
The seller on the other end of the call said: “I’m just charging the market rate. Nope, if you want to check with one of the ticket companies selling you can come back to me because they’re probably selling them for more.”
Rock then posted the footage he had compiled from his meetings to expose the touts on social media.
The politician has been pushing for legislation to take on touts and said: “Fundamentally I disagree with ticket touting. It stops fans like you and me from going to matches and concerts at the price we should be going to them for.”
“The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) disagree with touts, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) disagree with touting, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) disagree with touting, but the law doesn’t disagree with touting.
“That’s why I’ve proposed a Bill to change the law and make sure that above cost ticket selling will no longer take place. The law has passed the first stage in the Dáil but it still has a bit further to go.
“But by this time next year, I’m hopeful that fans like you and me no longer have to pay exorbitant prices to go to the concerts and the matches that we want to see.”
His proposed private members’ bill would stop fans from being “routinely gouged by people who seek to take advantage and make a profit for themselves”.
Rock said legislation was necessary because regulation was not functioning, and said his Bill was based on Belgian legislation that has had a positive effect.
Rock said he hopes the bill, which has been sent to the Department of Justice for feedback, will be debated and passed in the Dáil this autumn.
Although, he admitted that similar legislation has failed in Ireland in the past.
“This bill would put an end to ticket touting for profit,” he said. “This is not a novel idea and has been proposed by my party twice in the past.”