Supporting the ‘Ban the Bots’ amendment

I joined a cross-party campaign event on fixing the UK’s broken secondary ticketing market.

On Monday 28th November the Digital Economy Bill was read at Report Stage giving Labour another chance to modify the Bill in favour of the consumer. The Digital Economy Bill was debated in the House of Commons with a cross-party amendment put down to ban ‘bots’ in secondary ticketing.

Botnets or ‘Bots’ are software that buys up thousands of tickets in one go quicker than a single real fan could purchase one, that are then put on sale on secondary ticketing sites at hugely inflated costs.

The widespread use of bots by ticket touts means fans across the country are missing out on tickets to their favourite acts and plays, despite queuing up online for hours to buy tickets.
Just last week the issue hit the headlines as a new batch of 60,000 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets went on sale, promptly sold out, and within hours appeared on Ebay and StubHub at hundreds, in some cases thousands of pounds above face value.

Research by Labour’s Culture, Media and Sport team found examples of rugby Autumn International tickets being sold on secondary ticketing websites at 1,200% over the face value price.

I will be campaigning alongside Labour’s Culture, Media and Sport team to make sure the Government does act and that fans finally get a fair deal.

As Christmas approaches thousands of local people will be trying to buy tickets as presents for their family and friends but will be left disappointed by the broken secondary ticketing market. That’s why I took part in this important event this week.

Touts using bots to buy up thousands of tickets and then hugely inflating prices is a scandal that must be outlawed.

This battle won’t end with bots but it’s a crucial step in the right direction and I will continue to campaign on this vital issue. It’s time we closed the curtain on the big ticket rip off and finally deliver fairness for fans.

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