Organisers of sporting and entertainment events authorise particular ticketing agencies to sell tickets for their events.
Ticket scalping is the unauthorised reselling of tickets for more than the original ticket price. This can occur when someone buys a ticket to an event and can then no longer attend, or by scalpers deliberately purchasing tickets in advance to resell for a profit when an event is sold out.
Many people buy resold tickets as a way to see a major concert or sporting event that has already sold out.
However, buying a ticket from a scalper, whether in person, online or over the phone, carries two main risks:
In NSW, ticket scalping is generally not prohibited, except in areas around the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Sydney Football Stadium, and Sydney Olympic Park precinct.
When buying tickets you should:
If you experience a problem with a ticket purchased from an authorised ticketing agency, contact the agency first to discuss the problem. Most event organisers and authorised ticketing agencies have their own complaint and dispute resolution processes.
Ticketing agencies selling tickets to live entertainment events may be subject to the Code of Practice for Ticketing of Live Entertainment Events in Australia.
This Code sets out standards which relate to:
If you experience a problem with a ticket bought from an unauthorised re-seller or scalper, you should try to sort out the problem with them first.
If you paid for the ticket using PayPal, you can contact the PayPal Resolution Centre and may be protected through the PayPal Buyer Protection program.
If you paid using a credit card, you may be able to obtain a refund from your card provider.
If a satisfactory resolution cannot be achieved, contact NSW Fair Trading for assistance on 13 32 20.
Not all tickets to events are available to the general public. A certain proportion of tickets, particularly for major events, are reserved for sponsors, club and stadium members, season ticket holders, corporate packages, and friends of performers.
When tickets go on sale to the general public, they can sell out quickly. Modern ticketing technology allows up to 20,000 consumers to simultaneously purchase tickets online.
A 2010 review of ticket scalping by the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council found that the number of sold out events in Australia is low, and that the offering of scalped tickets for resale, is generally a very small percentage of tickets sold to any given event in Australia.
The review also found that there was no evidence of scalpers having preferential access to tickets.
Event organisers use a number of different measures to prevent or reduce ticket scalping.
These may include measures such as:
Whether an event organiser chooses to use any of these strategies will depend on a range of factors, including cost and the type of event. You can find out more about the ticketing arrangements for particular events by contacting the event organiser or visiting the event website.
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