Govt looks to crackdown on ticket scammers

updated By Talisa Kupenga

The Government is making moves to restrict ticket scalping and put regulations in place for ticket re-sales to ensure consumers aren’t getting ripped off.

This follows more than 400 complaints to the Commerce Commission against ticket resale company Viagogo since 2017.

Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says "there's little or no protection for consumers at the moment unless it's one of the events under the legislation that is currently there."

The Prime Minister says at Te Matatini some tickets were listed for $498 the four-day pass was originally cost at $100.

The Government is proposing a cost-cap on re-sale tickets, the banning of bots which allow ticket scammers to buy large quantities of tickets, and better information disclosure so people know whether or not it's a re-sale site and what the original ticket price was.

Zoe Spence supports the calls "I went to Six60 and got ticket scalped so I think it's great they're looking to put regulations in."

Max Masser who attended Eminem at Wellington at the weekend supports a re-sale cost-cap bit was unsure how it would be policed.

Richard Christie says banning bots is a “must do” but is unsure how Government would do that.

There is no law in New Zealand that prevents event tickets being resold for a higher price than the original sale price, except where the event is covered by the Major Events Management Act, which applies to major events in NZ that bring substantial benefits like the Rugby World Cup 2011.

Minister Faafoi says "Work undertaken by officials recently has shown that the average ticket re-sale profit was around $195 for a recent high-demand concert and 80-percent of those tickets were re-sold above the face value, some as much as 205-percent profit though I have heard of mark-ups of up to 400-percent."

The Commerce Commission attempted to get an injunction against Viagogo to force it to change the way it operates but action at the High Court has been stalled.

Viagogo contacted Te Ao Māori News in regards and says, “we are pleased by the Court’s ruling to deny the Commission’s application for relief. This is a significant legal victory for Viagogo.”

A consultation will run until April 18 and new legislation expected this parliamentary term.