Today, I was proud to have presented my Private Members’ Bill, The Ticket Speculation Amendment Act (Purchase and Sale Requirements), 2016, for First Reading in the Ontario Legislature.
This Bill, if passed, will prohibit the use of software, otherwise known as ‘scalper-bots’, that bypass security measures used by ticket selling websites and will require that the original face value of the ticket be disclosed if it is being resold.
More often than not, tickets to popular concerts, sporting events, theatre productions, and other forms of entertainment become unavailable within mere moments of being placed online for sale. Fans hoping for a chance to buy tickets will often be well prepared with credit cards and personal information so that the moment tickets go on sale, they are able to purchase them quickly and efficiently. Instead, they often find themselves in a frustrating pattern of refreshing the website repeatedly in attempts to gain access to tickets and process their orders; many receiving a disappointing “Tickets Sold-Out” message when a purchase page finally loads.
The use of security bypass software, or scalper-bots, results in ticket re-sellers having the ability to override the feature that limits the number of tickets that can be bought in one single transaction; a measure implemented by ticket-selling websites in an attempt to discourage scalper-bot usage and ensure that access to tickets is fair for customers. When these security protocols are bypassed, ticket re-sellers are able to purchase as many tickets as they wish and then place them online for resale at exorbitant prices.
I have heard my constituents say that their experiences in ticket-buying have left them frustrated and discouraged. There is simply no way in which human ability can surpass how quickly a scalper-bot can purchase a large volume of tickets in only a few moments. This is an issue that extends beyond my riding and has affected many consumers looking to purchase tickets for a variety of different events.
This legislation is intended to build upon the Ticket Speculation Act, 1990, and the amendments made to the Act in 2015. It would ensure fairness and transparency in the ticket selling and ticket buying process and would increase the accessibility of sporting events, museum exhibits, festivals, concerts, theatre productions and much more for all Ontarians. I am proud to have presented this Bill and hope that, if implemented, fans will have equal opportunity to purchase tickets for their favourite entertainers without having to unfairly compete with robots and software.
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