Industry News

Ban organisers from linking to ticket resellers, says Fair Ticket boss

Ontario’s new ticketing legislation is destined to fail unless it bans primary sellers from redirecting tickets to secondary operators.

That’s the view of Alan Gelfand, founder of Vancouver-based Fair Ticket Solutions, who, in an opinion piece for the Globe and Mail newspaper, wrote that price caps set to be included in the Ticket Sales Act that could be passed in a matter of days will not benefit consumers.

He argued that the proposed resale cap of 150 per cent of face value prices would be unfair on individual season ticket holders who cannot attend a fixture wanting to exploit their in-demand pass. He also said it should be for teams, artists and other rights holders, not lawmakers, to determine maximum resale prices.

Gelfand, whose company has developed AuthenTicket, an authenticated ticketing and check-in platform for live events similar to the airline model, said the most beneficial move would be to prevent event organisers from rigging prices by sending tickets directly to resale sites.

“If organisers feel they can make more money secretly selling primary tickets directly through secondary-market sites, many will,” Gelfand wrote.

“This fuels reselling sites and reduces a consumer’s chance of purchasing a ticket at face value. Since there are no rules around transparency here, they get away with it.

“This policy would ensure venues have to write into their contracts with organisers a waiver that all primary tickets have to be accounted for – allowing industry to police themselves and eliminating tickets that leak out at higher prices.”

Gelfans also wants to see the elimination of money-back guarantees, which “create an illusion of consumer protection”, and price caps, and all bots to be made illegal.

He added: “These precedent-setting policies, combined with the existing authentication clause of the previous 2015 act’s amendments, will now enable real enforcement of all policies, thrusting Ontario to the forefront of effective, enforceable and fair consumer protection.”

IMAGE: Thibault Trillet