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Facts about Ontario's plan to target online ticket scalping

26 June 2017

The Ontario government plans to ban "ticket bots" from scooping up tickets and limiting how much resale tickets can be sold.

Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, centre, leads the band through a concert in Vancouver, Sunday, July 24, 2016.

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A news release explains that the proposed changes include banning ticket bots and the sale of tickets that were purchased using bots, limiting the resale price of tickets to 50 per cent above face value, requiring ticket outlets to disclose additional information and establishing new measures to enforce the rules.

The so-called "scalper bots" - software programs created to purchase online a large number of tickets for a concert, show, or other event, enabling the person running the software to sell those tickets at a profit - made headlines a year ago when many Tragically Hip fans were unable to buy tickets to the band's farewell tour. Attorney General Yasir Naqvi says last year's near instantaneous sell-outs of the Tragically Hip's farewell tour shone a light on the issue. "It will be illegal to sell bots, use bots or use tickets sold by bots", said Naqvi, without elaborating on how the province proposes to achieve that technological feat.

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Naqvi has previously admitted that enforcing a ban on scalper bots, which are not unique to Ontario, would be hard.

Introduce new enforcement tools - including higher fines and penalties, and more inspectors - to ensure the new rules are being followed. Once it passed, the law would apply to tickets for events that take place in Ontario, regardless of where the ticket seller and buyer are based, Naqvi said.

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"It's not fair to fans when tickets sell out in seconds and show up on resale sites as a massive markup".

Facts about Ontario's plan to target online ticket scalping