New law looks to curb ticket scams
Tickets must be verifiable or come with money-back guarantee under new Ontario legislation
Buying second-hand tickets will be less risky for Ontario consumers under new rules introduced today by Queen's Park — but some say the legislation stands to drive up prices.
The legislation, which takes effect July 1, is meant to protect consumers from ticket scams. Now, anyone reselling tickets can only hike the price if the tickets have been verified as genuine by the original vendor, or if the reseller provides a money-back guarantee in case the tickets turn out to be fake.
The province says it will not police ticket resales. It's up to resellers to create a verification system for tickets.
Up until now it's been illegal to resell tickets for more than their face value.
But at least one Toronto-area theatre company takes a dim view of the new law.
"It's an empty law that won't do very much except, now, sort of sanction the scalping of tickets which I don't think is right," said John Karastamatis, spokesman for Mirvish Productions.
Mirvish sells more than one million theatre tickets a year, but does not allow resales. Resold tickets are voided upon detection and the original buyer is refunded.
"When you allow reselling ... you allow people to speculate. So I can go in and buy all the tickets. Therefore none are available to the public and then I can charge whatever I want," said Karastamatis.
With files from Michelle Cheung