Dept Of Business Has 'No Grasp On Problem Of Ticket Touting' - SF

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have been accused of having no grasp on the problems around ticket touting and not understanding the frustration experienced by consumers.

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Jobs and Enterprise Maurice Quinlivan, was speaking after a recent meeting of the Joint Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation which met to discuss his Bill to combat ticket touting, and also heard from officials from the Department.

The Limerick City TD said: "I was delighted to have the opportunity to present the provisions of my anti-ticket touting bill at the Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, which if implemented would cap the resale of tickets at 10% above their face value.

"However, I was very surprised at the engagement of the officials from the Department of Business, who it seems have absolutely no grasp on the problems around ticket touting, nor understand the frustration felt by consumers about this topic.

"The officials continually downplayed the problem and said the problem is not as widespread as people think. The engagement I have had with people affected by ticket touting, and the frequent media coverage of problems around ticket sales completely contradicts this.

"The Department of Business officials went on to say that, although legislative solutions work in other countries, it does not eliminate the problem entirely. I have said again and again that this Bill will not fix everything, but it's a start and it will substantially help. It is total nonsense to not proceed ahead with a Bill because it will not be 100% effective, no Bill ever is.

"The GAA have stated they believe 'touting in its various forms should be classified as a criminal activity' with the FAI saying 'if legislation was introduced to tackle resale at inflated prices, the beneficiaries would be genuine fans'. However, it seems the Department think they know better.

"Ticket touting has escalated into an abuse of the entertainment ticketing system, and the people most affected by extortionately priced tickets are people often on lower incomes, who don't have the privilege to be able to pay any amount for a ticket, and so end up being excluded from such cultural events. This needs to be addressed.

"My Bill is now in limbo again due to the government's refusal to issue money messages, and although it seems there is cross party support for action in this area, I have absolutely no confidence the Department will tackle this issue, which is a disappointment for me, but a bigger disappointment for consumers and fans affected by this problem."


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