Ticket scalping crack down unnecessary and undesirable

Some unnecessary and undesirable interference in the natural workings of markets was supported by a Queensland parliamentary committee on major events last week (see the Major Events Bill report). It appears the Government is proposing to extent current laws that apply to major sporting events, such as those held at Suncorp Stadium, to a wider range of events. It was reported in Friday’s mX newspaper that:

A Queensland parliamentary committee report has recommended measures to crack down on overpriced black market ticket resales at busy events.

Under the proposed legislation, anyone caught selling their ticket for more than 10 per cent above the original purchase price could face hefty fines.

People will also no longer be able to flog unwanted tickets at major event venues, with face-to-face resale to be considered an offence in some areas.

It seems odd to me that we can accept the efficiency and desirability of secondary markets nearly everywhere else in the economy, including for stocks and bonds, real estate, and anything you can buy over eBay or Gumtree, but we make an exception for concert or sporting tickets.

I’ve previously posted on the economics of ticket scalping. While I can understand the equity argument for cracking down on ticket scalping, I don’t think it makes any sense economically.

A close reading of the Committee report suggests that the Committee itself has some reservations about regulating ticket scalping, as it has requested further information regarding at exactly what events the new regulations would come into play. I hope that the Government intends that the regulations apply only in very limited circumstances, such as for only a limited number of events at the upcoming Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

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4 Responses to Ticket scalping crack down unnecessary and undesirable

  1. Katrina Drake says:

    No, I must agree with the legislation limiting ticket scaling . Scalping is not a valid secondary market, as the scalpers are not adding any value to the experience. They merely drive up prices for consumers, and make it more difficult for consumers to buy tickets in the first place. Scalpers don’t contribute to the market in any way, they don’t make the seats more comfortable, or the performances more exciting.

    I think legislation should be much tougher on scalpers.

    What the Queensland Government, via there enterprise Stadiums QLd, needs to do it improve their ticketing procedures. I haven’t purchased tickets to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre for over 10 years, as you cannot select your own seats on-line. The last time I went I paid $300 for a VIP seat, and once every one stood up I couldn’t seat a thing ! If I cannot select my own ticket on line – I just don’t go !

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Yes, agree about need to improve ticketing procedures but disagree scalpers don’t contribute to the market. They supply tickets to a segment of the market that might really want to go to an event but missed out on tickets earlier, possibly because they weren’t quick enough when the tickets were initially sold online.

  2. Katrina Drake says:

    I hope you don’t fall for that old scalpers trick – I find the best tickets are often the ones you buy at the last minute anyway – promoters often hold back a block near the front for cast and crew and sponsors, left-overs are released a day or two before the show.

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