Australian officials remove hundreds of ticket listings ahead of finals

AFL football action

Featured image: Simon Yeo / Resized to fit / CC BY 2.0

Officials in Australia have removed hundreds of illegal ticket listings from resale sites such as Viagogo as the AFL and NRL finals get under way.

In Victoria, where it is illegal to advertise or resell a ticket for more than 10% of the purchase price, government officials have removed listings for 169 tickets in the first week of the Australian Football League (AFL) finals. The Guardian reports the tickets have been removed from platforms such as eBay, Gumtree, Ticket Merchant, Viagogo and StubHub.

Steve Dimopoulos, the state’s Minister for Sport, said: “We’re making sure footy fans are paying a fair price for their tickets, so everyone has the best possible chance to cheer on their footy idols in the finals.”

In New South Wales, where it is also illegal to sell tickets for 10% more than face value, the Office of Fair Trading NSW has written to more than a dozen platforms, and provided them with a list of events which may present a high risk.

The Minister for Fair Trading, Anoulack Chanthivong, said: “We hear it in the leadup to major events too often, fans and consumers are getting ripped off and it’s unacceptable.”

In NSW, the maximum penalties for breaching ticket scalping laws are $110,000 for a corporation or $22,000 for an individual. Fair Trading can also issue a $550 fine for any offence under the laws, including one-off breaches”.

Last year, eBay Australia was fined by NSW Fair Trading after marked-up tickets for the National Rugby League (NRL) Grand Final appeared on its platform.

This Friday’s AFL semi-final between Melbourne and Carlton is set to fill the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground. General public tickets sold out on Monday within eight minutes of release. Almost 290,000 fans attended the AFL’s first week of finals to set a new record, and grounds were all-but-full at three of the four matches.

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