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News & Events

New law banning ticket touting comes into force

  • Fans will now have fairer access to tickets for popular events as reselling of tickets above original value outlawed

  • Venue operators and event organisers can now apply for special designation for large, popular events

  • Amateur sports clubs and registered charities exempt for fundraising purposes

From tomorrow (31 July), the practice of reselling tickets above face value will be banned after the Sale of Tickets Act was brought into force by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD. New Regulations setting out what a venue operator or an event organiser needs to do to apply for designation of a venue or an event under the Act also comes into force.

Welcoming these developments, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment said:

I am delighted to announce that the Sale of Tickets (Cultural, Educational, Recreational and Sporting Events) Act 2021 comes into effect from tomorrow.  We have heard all too often of the experiences of fans waiting patiently to buy tickets only to miss out and to then see those same tickets for sale on a secondary site for far more than they can afford or would be happy to pay.”

He continued:

 This is a good day for genuine fans who will now have fairer access to tickets for cultural, entertainment, recreational and sporting events.  This new law protects against profiteers seeking to unfairly gain from the resale of tickets who do not contribute in any way to benefit those with the talent and skills that the rest of society wish to appreciate at an affordable price.”

Robert Troy TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation welcomed the support from all sides of both Houses of the Oireachtas in passing the legislation. He said:

This is a really positive step forward to protect the interests of real fans. We know demand for live events will increase as society begins to reopen, and while we continue to live with Covid-19, numbers to these events will be limited to protect public health. This legislation is necessary to protect fans from being ripped off by ticket touts who would exploit this.

Of course, the benefits of this legislation will long outlive the public health measures and this legislation will ensure a fairer market so tickets can go to real fans."

He concluded:

While live events have been seriously impacted over the last 18 months, with the availability of the EU Digital COVID Certificate and the successful vaccine roll-out, we can look forward to attending more live events again in a safe and fair way. 

The Act contains serious deterrents for those who may contemplate ticket touting as they will face fines of up to €100,000 or up to two years in prison if they sell music or sports tickets for live events above face value. 

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

  • The Sale of Tickets (Cultural, Entertainment, Recreational and Sporting Events) Act 2021 regulates the secondary ticket market where tickets are resold after their original purchase from the primary ticket market and where prices are more likely to be sold above their original sale price.
  • Its primary objectives of are to:
    • promote fairer access to tickets for cultural, entertainment, recreational and sporting events by prohibiting the sale of tickets or ticket packages for a price exceeding their original sale price for events taking place in designated venues or for designated events;
    • exempt charitable organisations and amateur sports clubs from provisions of the Bill in particular circumstances;
    • provide for enforcement powers for the Garda Síochána (powers of entry and search - with the consent of the occupier or in accordance with a warrant issued by a District Court judge) and for penalties for offences.
  • This Act bans the resale of tickets to live events, matches and concerts in designated venues and for designated events, at a price above face value, with an exemption for amateur sports clubs and registered charities for fundraising purposes.
  • Venue operators and Event organisers can now apply for designation under the Sale of Tickets (Cultural, Entertainment, Recreational and Sporting Events) Act 2021 (Designation of Venues and Events) Regulations 2021. These regulations set out the requirements for a venue operator or an event organiser who may wish to apply for designation of a venue(s) or an event where certain conditions are met:
    • Venue designation: That the venue has the capacity to hold 1,000 persons or more and that the venue operator is of reasonable opinion that the venue will hold events that will give rise to over price secondary selling.
    • Event Designation: that the event operator is of the reasonable opinion that the event is of such a nature that it will give rise to over price secondary selling.
  • Designation application forms are available at: Sale of Tickets (Cultural, Entertainment, Recreational and Sporting Events) Act 2021
  • The President of Ireland signed the Act into law on 14 July.