WATCH ABOVE: Ontario’s Attorney General Yasir Naqvi launched ontario.ca/tickets asking ticket buyers to help create new rules to control the sale and re-sale of tickets and the banning of “scalper bots.”
The Ontario government is seeking the public’s help developing legislation to make the process of buying and selling event tickets easier and more transparent, including looking at how to curb the practice of “scalper bots.”
The province is encouraging Ontarians to complete a 10-minute online survey that focuses on four keys areas: access to tickets, affordability, transparency and enforcement.
“We’re going to change the rules so that fans in Ontario will have a real fair shot at getting the tickets they want while making sure ticket prices are affordable and transparent,” Attorney General Yasir Naqvi told reporters at a press conference in Toronto on Tuesday.
Last October, Naqvi promised that legislation would be introduced by this spring to try to protect consumers — although he admitted it would be tough to stop resellers operating in other jurisdictions.
Kingston MPP Sophie Kiwala introduced a private member’s bill last year aimed at banning “scalper bots” that scoop up huge blocks of tickets and then resell them on third-party websites with substantial markups.
“I saw first-hand when the Tragically Hip announced their farewell tour. They had 11 shows across Canada, six were in Ontario including of course Kingston for the last show and tickets were sold out in moments,” Kiwala said.
“I had people contacting me from across the province and across Canada who were very upset at not having access to tickets.”
VIDEO: Enforcement against “slacker bots” remains unclear
Naqvi said the province has consulted with members of the music industry, as well as ticket sellers, but are looking for feedback from the public to finalize pending legislation.
“What we are seeking are practical solutions. Solutions that are workable and that will be able to make tickets more accessible and affordable,” he said.
Naqvi admits enforcement of ticket resellers who operate over the internet won’t be easy.
VIDEO: Ontario seeks to shut ‘scalper bots’ out of major events
“When we speak to other jurisdictions, New York has been looking at this, United Kingdom is another one, they’ve done reports and are also trying to determine, ‘OK, if we ban ticket bots, how do we enforce the law?,’ so that is the challenge,” Naqvi said.
“It’s a very complex problem. We can’t shut down the internet. When you talk to the fans, they do want to go online and buy tickets. It’s not like you can say it won’t happen anymore.”
Ontarians can participate in the online survey by clicking the link here.