A quarter of Australian Open tickets sold by Viagogo have been ruled to be invalid due to being sold multiple times or as child tickets.
In the wake of tennis fans being turned away from the Grand Slam tournament at Melbourne Park, Australian consumer group CHOICE is again pushing for change in the secondary market.
The tournament kicked off last week, running from January 15-28 and is already on track for another record-breaking year of attendance.
Tennis Australia, the governing body for the sport in the country, said that it had made an effort to protect its fans from scalpers and price inflations. However, sold-out seats for the men’s final were being flogged on Viagogo for as much as A$4,450 (£2,500/$3,500/$3,000), when the face-value cost of prime-location seats was $805.
“With the Australian Open tennis in full swing, online ticket resellers will be targeting fans with overpriced and sometimes fraudulent tickets,” a spokesman for consumer group CHOICE told AAP on Monday.
Viagogo was also caught advertising children’s tickets for Wednesday’s events for A$31, even though official child tickets cost A$5 and are still widely available.
According to AAP, CHOICE said buyers have the right to know the face value of the ticket and where in the stadium the seat is located. The consumer group has called on the federal government to make the ticket resale market fairer.
Victoria’s parliament is in talks about new legislation that would outlaw selling tickets for “declared” events at more than 10 per cent above face value. Music, cultural and theatre events will also qualify for declared status, making it illegal for anyone to resell tickets for profit.
Tourism Minister John Eren said: “We urge people to only buy tickets from authorised sellers – it’s the only way to ensure you’re not getting ripped off.
“While reforms in NSW and Victoria look set to go some way to addressing issues in the resale market, we need a national approach to stop fans being ripped off.
“In our submission to Treasury, we support the federal government’s proposal for better disclosure measures. This includes resellers having to list the seat and section number of a ticket or any restrictions on the ticket, as the most efficient way to make ticket resale fair for fans.”
Image: Tourism Victoria (Modification: Viagogo logo added)