Nick Smith MP Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent
Nick Smith MP has called in Parliament for Rugby World Cup tickets to receive the same protections as the Olympics as part of the fight against ticket touts.
The Blaenau Gwent MP has put forward a 10 Minute Bill that will call for the 2015 event to be labelled by the Government as an Event of National Significance.
This would offer the same protections for tickets as the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, with an authorised exchange that meant fans would not be ripped off by sky high prices and counterfeit tickets.
Speaking before the House of Commons debate, Mr Smith said the advanced nature of mass ticket purchases was distorting the market and pricing real fans out of events.
“Organisers have not yet released tickets, yet secondary sites are already advertising tickets for England v Wales for as much as £1,725 each -; far above the £315 limit from the organisers”, he said.
“Hosting such a prestigious event on home soil as the Rugby World Cup should be a celebration for everyone.
“But instead we are facing a real danger of the biggest fans being left on the sidelines.
“England 2015 are doing their best to make sure tickets end up in the right hands, but the sophisticated technology that touts use these days could still grab thousands of tickets at general sale in seconds.
“This is why I am putting forward this bill. It’s easy to say the market dictates the price a ticket should be, but when a few people can control an entire market in seconds we all suffer.
“Making this world event one of National Significance would be a bold first step in recognising there is a problem, and starting the conversation to tackle it in future.”
The Sale of Tickets (Sporting and Cultural Events) Bill will also look to protect consumers in the secondary market for hundreds of musical, cultural and sporting events.
This would include introducing a 10% cap on the amount that a ticket could be resold for above face value.
Mr Smith also wants increased transparency for the secondary market, including added fees being shown to the customer up front.
“When events such as the Monty Python comeback sell out in 46 seconds, while even Chelsea Flower show goes from £22 tickets on general sale to as much as £466 on secondary sites, you know something needs to be done,” he said.
The bill is as follows
Sale of Tickets (Sporting and Cultural Events) Bill
A Bill to regulate the secondary ticket market to ensure transparency and better protection for the consumer from ticket crime.