British Columbia

B.C. introduces law to crack down on ticket-buying bots

The B.C. government is introducing legislation to ban software and bots that scoop up huge numbers of tickets to live events before fans get a chance to buy them at face value.

Proposed law meant to make it easier for fans to get tickets to live events at reasonable prices

The B.C. government's proposed ticket sales act was tabled Tuesday morning. (Paul Sakuma/Associated Press)

The B.C. government is introducing legislation to ban software and bots that scoop up huge numbers of tickets to live events before fans get a chance to buy them at face value.

The proposed ticket sales act was tabled Tuesday morning, and is meant to make the process of buying tickets more transparent and fair.

"For too long, artists and concert-goers were being unfairly hurt by ticket-buying software and bots," Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare said in a press release.

"This new ticket-buying legislation will ensure that people are protected with better price transparency. Most of all, people will be able to enjoy the diverse performances and entertainment B.C. has to offer without being unfairly gouged at the box office."

If passed, the act would also require:

  • clear disclosure of prices
  • guaranteed refunds from secondary sellers
  • disclosure of terms and conditions by ticket sellers
  • a ban on sales of speculative tickets that a seller does not actually possess
  • disclosure from secondary sellers that they are reselling tickets 
  • mechanisms for consumers to sue if they have suffered losses from contraventions of the law

The B.C. government promised to implement a number of consumer protection measures in the 2019 budget. That also includes better oversight of payday loan practices and more transparency in cellphone billing.

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