Bots account for 39.9 per cent of ticketing traffic in the United States, despite legislative action to counter touting, according to a new study.

The report, How Bots Affect Ticketing, is by San Francisco-based Distil Networks, a global leader in bot mitigation. It analysed 26.3 billion requests from 180 domains between September and December 2018.

The primary market has a higher volume of bot traffic, with 42.2 per cent, when compared with the secondary markets and venues, which have 23.9 per cent and 26.5 per cent, respectively.

The study also discovered that 78 per cent of bots on tickets sites are classified as sophisticated or moderately sophisticated, with more human-like characteristics that often evade detection.

In addition, 85 per cent of the malicious bots cheating the systems of ticketing firms originate in North America.

“Although the ticketing industry has led the way in terms of bot legislation, as seen with the BOTS Act in the US and similar rulings in Ontario, the UK, Australia and more, websites still face a huge hurdle when protecting against bad bots,” said Tiffany Kleemann, chief executive of Distil Networks.

“These automated tools attack ticketing websites every day, leveraging more advanced and nuanced techniques that evade detection.

“Whether a venue, primary marketplace, or secondary marketplace, any website that sells tickets can fall prey to this criminal activity, and a better understanding of the threat landscape can ensure the proper protective protocol is put in place.”

Brokers, scalpers, hospitality agencies, “and other criminals” leverage bots to execute a number of attacks, the report notes.

These include denial of inventory, spinning and scalping, scraping seat map inventory, fan account takeover, and fraud.

Kleemann added: “This unwanted activity not only leads to high infrastructure costs and poor website performance, but it also compromises the integrity of ticketing websites and impacts the user experience.”

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