Industry News

Around one in 10 Viagago sellers are ‘serial touts’ – report

Up to 10 per cent of Viagogo vendors in Ireland are selling more than 10 tickets per year, according to data supplied by the ticket exchange itself.

In a submission to a government consultation on ticket resales, Viagogo, one of the country’s four main ticket resale websites, stated that only 90 per cent of sellers on its Irish domain sold less than 10 tickets last year.

The Times newspaper described those selling more than 10 tickets in a year as “serial touts”.

Last week, legislation that would make it illegal to hike ticket prices more than 10 per cent on resale sites in Ireland was criticised by Ticketmaster Ireland and its secondary market platform Seatwave subsidiary.

Ticketmaster stated in its paper to the Department of Jobs and Department of Sport: “Our data shows that less than one per cent of the tickets that Ticketmaster Ireland sells on behalf of its clients are subsequently resold – a vastly different story to what is told in the Irish press.”

Ticketmaster was forced to defend itself and its subsidiary earlier this year when U2 tickets sold out within minutes, but fans complained they were soon being resold for thousands of euros on Seatwave.

The Dail will vote this week on the tickets bill, which is expected to pass. If it is passed, anyone found breaking the rule could face €5,000 (£4,200/$5,500) fines.

Seán Kyne, a junior minister, tabled an amendment on behalf of Mary Mitchell O’Connor, the jobs minister, calling for a nine-month delay should the bill pass. Kyne apparently questioned whether people should be obstructed or fined for selling tickets at even a 100 per cent mark-up.

Kyne said, according to The Times: “If somebody in Limerick or Galway buys four tickets for a concert in Dublin and wishes to sell two of them for 20 per cent, 50 per cent or 100 per cent above the face value price to help to subsidise the travel and accommodation costs for their own attendance, should he or she be prohibited by law from doing so and subject to criminal proceedings?”

Kyne said the bill could drive resales offshore and concluded that the delay would allow the bill to be scrutinised to ensure it would not give rise to any unintended consequences.