The New South Wales government in Australia thinks the online ticket reselling marketplace is a dire situation and wants to intervene. They have proposed legislation that would fine ticket reselling sites up to $5,500 (Australian Dollars; $5,150 USD) for not removing tickets being sold at more than 10% above the original price.
Resellers would have to include everything but the ticket barcode, including those lengthy terms and conditions no one reads. Bots that buy up tickets and resell them at inflated prices are a central part of the New South Wales Fair Trading Minister’s argument.
It comes as no surprise that Australian online ticket resellers are not happy. Sites like Viagogo and eBay would have to police their users, and would have to magically know how much prices have been raised.
This isn’t rocket science: government control over a marketplace causes the black market to grow. Viagogo seconds that sentiment, saying this legislation “will send new South Wales back to the Wild West where people had to take their chances buying from shady people.”
eBay’s Australian spokesperson says that bots buying up tickets “is a technology fix and does not require legislation, just a motivated ticket issuer that actually wants to stem the problem.”
All of which raises the question: if a market for tickets with inflated prices exists — with willing buyers and willing sellers — should the government really be using up resources to stamp it out?