Skip to main content

Ticket Touts

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

The Government do not intend to introduce new regulation to tackle ticket touting. Ticket touting is banned for football matches on public disorder grounds, and for the Olympic games in 2012 to meet International Olympic Committee bid conditions. The Government have consistently taken the view that the consumer interest comes first, and market-led measures to benefit consumers are a far better option than the burden of legislation.

I thought that the Minister would say that, and I must say that I profoundly and utterly disagree with him. The truth is that ticket touts are parasites who prey on the legitimate interests of fans and the sporting and cultural achievements of this country. As he says, ticket touting is illegal in relation to the Olympics and football. Why should it be legal in relation to Wimbledon or big arts events? Let us make it illegal.

I have sympathy with my hon. Friend. As he knows, the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport failed to reach a consensus on the issue. He sits on the Committee—

Well, he did; anyway, he has been vociferous in his support for making ticket touting illegal. The consumer should come first. First, we want to work with the governing bodies to see what the primary market can do to stop ticket touting. Secondly, we want to work with the secondary market to see what safeguards can be put in place in future. A market-led approach is better than a legislative one.