Revealed: Tough new laws to protect you from scalpers
Tough national laws proposed by the Opposition would expose scalpers preying on sport and entertainment fans to fines of up to $10 million.
The crackdown plan, to be announced by federal Labor on Friday, would include bans on the use of ticket-buying "bot" software that snaps up tickets to major events, and a cap on ticket resale prices of 110 per cent of the face value.
The laws would apply across state borders.
Corporations breaching the law would face penalties of up to $10 million, and individuals fines of up to $500,000.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said changes would be made to the Australian consumer law, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission would gain extra powers to hunt scalpers.
"Big events should not be out of reach of everyday Aussie fans,'' Mr Shorten said.
"I know how frustrating it is for people to wake up early, log on to a computer and find they've missed out on tickets before they can even enter their details.''
The crackdown is aimed at destroying the business model of controversial websites such as Viagogo, which sell tickets at prices far above face value.
It is estimated that bots account for up to 30 per cent of traffic to ticketing sites once tickets to a major event go on sale in Australia.
Mr Shorten said the ACCC would review the laws after they had been operating for a year, and stronger action would be considered if found necessary.
"I don't want ordinary Australians to have to compete with sophisticated computers set up to gouge the system. I want families to have a real chance of getting tickets to sports games and events they love,'' he said.
"These changes will mean fans get a fair go.''
Currently, Victorian laws banning resales of tickets for more than 10 per cent above the face value apply only to tickets to "declared'' events, such as the AFL finals and the Australian Open tennis.
The news laws would apply to any seat sold, covering every AFL home-and-away match.
AFL Fans' Association president Gerry Eeman said: "This is fantastic news for all sports fans. We hope the Coalition will immediately move to match Labor's promise.''
Secondary sites this year sold $495 seats to the Open men's final for up to $2856, and a standing-room ticket to Collingwood's final against Richmond for more than $5000.
And $125 tickets to see British singer Ed Sheeran in Melbourne this year were advertised for $1600 after his concerts sold out.