Thinking | 10 March 2022

Victorian Government strengthens anti-scalping laws to prevent inflated ticket package deals

By Martin Ross, Mark Lebbon and Chris Bevacqua

The Victorian Government has moved to address a gap under existing law that permitted certain selling practices in connection with tickets for major sporting and entertainment events.

Victoria's laws prohibited the advertising for sale or the selling of a ticket to a declared major event for more than 10% above the face value of the ticket. However, there was a concern that tickets for these events were being sold in a way that bypassed these laws through the bundling of tickets in packages involving hospitality, experiences or merchandise (eg food and drink or accommodation packages). These bundled packages were then sold for more than 10% above the face value of the tickets.

On 1 March 2022, the Victorian parliament passed the Major Events Legislation Amendment (Unauthorised Ticket Packages and Other Matters) Act 2022 (Vic).

The new legislation amends the Major Events Act 2009 (Vic) and makes it an offence for an individual or corporation to advertise or sell a ticket package to a declared major event without the written authorisation of the event organiser.[1] This change seeks to prohibit individuals or companies from bundling tickets in packages that have the effect of allowing the ticket to be sold at a price exceeding 10% of its face value.

Amendments have also been made which require resellers of tickets to declared major events to state the face value, asking price and seating allocation details in all ticket advertisements.[2] These changes aim to ensure there is greater transparency for buyers purchasing tickets on the secondary market.

The new laws also impose obligations on event organisers to publish a register of authorised sellers of ticket packages for each declared major event[3] and for persons selling ticket packages for these events to state in relevant advertising that they are authorised sellers.[4]

Individuals or companies found to be in breach of the new law face penalties ranging from $908 to $109,044 (for individuals) and up to $545,200 (for companies).[5]

Hall & Wilcox advises numerous organisations that conduct major events in Victoria and other jurisdictions in Australia and is familiar with major events and ticketing legislation.

Should you wish to discuss the new laws, please get in touch with our Sports & Entertainment team.


[1] Major Events Legislation Amendment (Unauthorised Ticket Packages and Other Matters) Act 2022 (Vic) ss 9, 19.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid ss 5, 19.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid ss 9, 10, 19, 20.

Contact

Martin Ross

Martin practices commercial law and has extensive experience in sports and media contracts and commercial litigation.

Mark Lebbon

Mark is an experienced corporate & commercial lawyer with a particular focus on the sports and media industries.

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