Industry News

Victoria government to discuss further AFL restrictions

The sale of tickets for major live events in Australia could be further regulated after Victoria’s Sports Minister announced plans to speak to AFL chiefs about expanding declared event status to games beyond the Aussie rules Grand Final.

Minister John Eren is set to debate anti-scalping legislation next week with the state government looking to safeguard events such as major musicals and concerts from touts.

Eren said he is mindful of the demand for tickets to AFL games, such as the Anzac Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood, and other finals.

The Major Sporting Events Act 2009 (Vic) restricts the resale of tickets for some events in the stat, whose capital is Melbourne. It is an offence for AFL Grand Final tickets to be “resold or offered for resale at a premium”.

Eren said he is open to extending that protection to include other games.

“We would obviously want to do it in conjunction with organisations,” Eren told The Age.

“The football is a bit more different than theatre shows and other events we have. But nevertheless, last season we saw a huge influx in the demand of tickets through the finals, not just the Grand Final.

“And so I think some discussions obviously need to take place with the AFL, to ensure that people are treated fairly and fans don’t miss out unnecessarily.

“So to that end, we’re always in discussions with all different codes about what events they would like to see, where a declaration is made. And so we’re in deep discussions with the AFL in relation to the finals series.”

While any changes appear unlikely to be in play for this season, Eren said: “Next year we’d be definitely talking about it.”

According to The Age, AFL spokesman Patrick Keane said the league was open to discussions with the government.

Under the current act, if the minister requests an event be declared, the declaration must be made nine months before the event. The organiser then has 60 days to submit a ticket scheme. This complicates the ability to declare AFL games in advance, especially finals, with finals fixtures determined only a week or two before each final other than the Grand Final.

The Labour party have proposed a change that would make it illegal to sell tickets at more than 10 per cent above face value to any declared event, extend the legislation to cultural events beyond sport.

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