Ontario Moving to Close Curtains on Scalping of Tickets for Concert, Theatre and Sport Events

“We’ve got an opportunity right now to do something about it. The government is listening – I encourage all fans of music, theatre, sports, to make your voices heard.”                             — Rob Baker, The Tragically Hip

News from the Ontario Government

Posted March 3rd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Ontario is reviewing the rules for buying and selling tickets online to give fans a fair shot at getting tickets to see their favourite team, musical act or theatrical performance.tickete-scalpers-best

Event tickets are mostly bought and sold online. While this has given fans more options, it also means that tickets to popular shows and games often sell out within hours, sometimes minutes. Many tickets are then posted on resale sites at a price much higher than their original value. This leaves fans unable to find the tickets they want at a price they can afford.

Starting today, fans can help the government develop new legislation that would make the process of buying and selling tickets more fair and transparent by sharing their ideas through an online consultation.

To participate go to ontario.ca/tickets and complete the survey.

The province is looking for feedback in four key areas:

  • Access – making sure everyone has a fair shot at buying tickets for popular events
  • Affordability – addressing consumer concerns about resale prices and service charges
  • Transparency – making more information available to consumers when they buy tickets
  • Enforcement – making sure laws are followed.

Making it easier to find tickets online is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


Ontarians will have until Mar. 15, 2017 to participate in the survey.

ticket-scalpers-twoThe province is also meeting with artists and representatives from the entertainment industry to discuss issues related to the accessibility, affordability and transparency of ticket selling and reselling, as well as enforcement of the law.

The United States, United Kingdom and Italy have each taken steps in recent years to increase fairness, transparency and consumer protection in the online ticket market.

According to a Music Canada report, live music contributed nearly $1.2 billion to Ontario’s economy in 2013.


Visit the online consultation page

Ticket Speculation Act


“Like so many people across Ontario, I love going to the great shows and events this province has to offer. I also know how frustrating it is to see the tickets you want sell out right away, only to see them pop up for resale at double the price. That isn’t fair – and it isn’t right. That’s why the government is calling on fans across Ontario to help us change the rules so that we all have a fair shot at getting the tickets we want.”  — Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General

“Music, sport and art are so important to our communities. But right now the odds are not in fans’ favour. In my hometown of Kingston, I saw first-hand how fans had no chance to buy tickets to the Tragically Hip’s farewell tour. So we want to hear from fans about how we can address these challenges and make sure fans get a fair shot at buying tickets to their favourite events.”  — Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands

“Support from our fans is what makes being an artist so great. So, hearing that our tickets were being bought by scalper bots, leaving real fans shut out from our shows, was terrible. We’ve got an opportunity right now to do something about it. The government is listening – I encourage all fans of music, theatre, sports, to make your voices heard.”  — Rob Baker, The Tragically Hip

“Today’s ticket resale market is unfair to fans, and bad for business. Every day we hear from people who feel frustrated and powerless about the sky-high prices they have to pay just to get seats at their favourite shows. Talking to the people closest to the issue – people working in the entertainment industry and the fans themselves – and really listening to their concerns and ideas for change, is definitely a step in the right direction.”  — David Mirvish, Mirvish Productions

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


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