Ticketmaster seeks to overturn scalping legislation
Ticketmaster is seeking to overturn anti-scalping legislation, lobbying the Ontario and Manitoba governments to review rules banning the resale of tickets.
"There's a real need to update these laws," Ticketmaster vice-president Joe Freeman told CBC News.
He said Ticketmaster's resale site, TicketsNow, is just giving the public what it wants: secure access to tickets they don't mind paying more money for.
"You can't regulate away the laws of supply and demand and, unfortunately for a lot of shows, particularly now in the internet era, demand just far, far exceeds supply."
But consumers such as Winnipeg-based Steve Oetting said reselling sites such as TicketsNow are illegal and a conflict of interest.
Oetting said he logged on to Ticketmaster's website to look for tickets for an upcoming Elton John concert and found a link to TicketsNow. While tickets weren't yet released on Ticketmaster, TicketsNow was offering 53 tickets at higher prices.
"Reselling tickets above face value, I think, is scalping," he said. "They're promoting it, they are providing the vehicle by which it can transact. I think that's an illegal act according to the government of Manitoba."
Kevin Donnelly, senior vice-president and manager of Winnipeg's MTS Centre, said he asked Ticketmaster to remove the TicketsNow link from the Manitoba site.
"The history is, you hate scalpers, they've been the bane of your existence, and now, there is an industry that is [facilitating it]," he said.
"It sends the wrong message at the very least, that people should be encouraged to go to these secondary sites."
A spokesperson with the Alberta government said a review of the province's anti-scalping legislation, which is rarely enforced, is currently underway.