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Ticket scalping for major events to be banned

Ticket scalping for major events to be banned

The government proposes introducing legislation that will ban ticket scalping for major events, as part of legislation to make New Zealand an even more attractive host of major international events, Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"The proposed ban on scalping will be included in a bill that will also control ambush marketing. Both are aimed at making New Zealand a more attractive place to host major events - for the sponsors of those events and also for the sports and spectators involved.

"The aim is protect the event sponsors by stopping individuals or organised groups or businesses from making money out an event that they have no formal association with, through bulk-buying tickets.

" When there is bulk buying of tickets to such events simply for the purpose of profiteering, scalping is a rip-off that could deny many people the opportunity to see event," Trevor Mallard said.

"The proposed ban will only be for ticket scalping for major events like the Rugby World Cup in 2011, the Cricket World Cup in 2015 and Rowing World Championships in 2010. However, during the public submission process we will consider other definitions of major events that are not linked to sports."

Major events are those that attract large-scale international interest and participation and that also have the potential to generate tourism and other economic spinoffs for the host country.

The legislation will make it unlawful to deal with sports tickets in two ways: it will be illegal to sell a ticket for more that its face value. In other words, you can on-sell a ticket, provided you do not make any profit on it; and it will be unlawful to give away tickets to a major event as part of a promotion package in a manner which suggests that they are an authorised sponsor of the event (i.e. ambush marketing by association).

A range of penalties are proposed including fines, the right to obtain injunctions (e.g. to stop on-line trading); the right to require the person making any profit to hand over those profits to the ticket issuer.

Many countries are taking steps to stop profiteering for scalping. In the UK it is a criminal offence to scalp football tickets. Over a dozen American states have banned it, as have some states in Australia. Germany introduced scalping controls at this years’ FIFA World Cup.

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