Industry News

Hong Kong moves to tackle touts

Hong Kong’s city leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she is looking to crack down on the secondary ticketing market by making scalping illegal at government-run venues.

Following fan outrage as touts mined tickets for comedian Dayo Wong (pictured) and Taiwanese band MayDay and sold them for inflated prices, Lam said she wants scalping to become a criminal offence.

Yesterday (Wednesday), Lam said she was considering making amendments to the laws that cover ticket sales in Hong Kong.

“The Leisure and Cultural Services Department will evaluate the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance to see if it can be expanded to cover the government premises, so as to make ticket scalping a criminal offence,” Lam said, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper.

“It will also consider whether to raise the punishment.”

Lawmakers then suggested the government combat the reselling of tickets online and require show organisers to allocate more tickets to the public.

A HK$280 ticket for Wong’s performance appeared on resale site Viagogo for more than HK$1,200, while tickets for other shows have been regularly resold online for five times more than their face value.

Comedian Dayo Wong Tze-wah said on Facebook that this was “outrageous”, and angry fans urged the government to introduce a “real name registration” system to stop the problem from recurring.

Ticket scalping is technically a criminal offence at private Hong Kong venues that hold entertainment licences, but the punishment under the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance limits it to a fine of just HK$2,000 for an offence.

Image: Sminleung