The Government has unveiled new legislation to ban touts from using bots to bulk buy tickets.
A new criminal offence, to be brought forward via the Digital Economy Act, will mean touts who use automated software to harvest tickets to sell on at vastly inflated prices - bypassing limits on maximum ticket purchases set by event organisers - will face unlimited fines.
The legislation recently moved closer as Government notified the European Commission of its plans to take forward the proposals.
Matt Hancock (pictured), minister for the creative industries, said: "We’re determined to make sure 2018 is the year we help real fans get the chance to see their favourite music and sports stars at a fair price. We’ll be acting to stamp out the growing problem of touts misusing technology to scoop up vast numbers of tickets only to sell them on at rip-off prices.
"Our work, together with improvements by industry, will help make the market more transparent and mean a great year for Britain’s thriving live events scene."
The Digital Economy Bill became law in 2017, which saw a series of developments in the battle against industrial scale ticket touting. The Competition And Markets Authority (CMA) announced in November that it would take enforcement action against resale sites suspected of breaking consumer protection law following a long-running investigation. Google has also announced new global resale regulations.
National Trading Standards, which has been working with the CMA, carried out a series of raids as part of its investigation into the secondary ticketing market. Four properties were raided and four people were arrested under suspicion of breaching consumer protection regulations.