Government to take action on price-gouging scalpers and ticket bots in B.C.

A Canada-wide Angus Reid poll showed that four in five Canadians would agree with outright banning of software (“bots”) to jump the queue when tickets go on sale


Mike Farnworth

THE B.C. government is moving to clamp down on high-priced ticket scalping to make live-event tickets more affordable for British Columbians, said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth on Tuesday.

“Live events should be an enjoyable experience for British Columbians, not a windfall for scalpers,” said Farnworth. “The action we’re taking is aimed at protecting people from unscrupulous scalpers and unfair practices that shut average people out from events in B.C.”

Government will begin by conducting a three-week survey on British Columbians’ experiences with ticket buying, reselling, and buying from resellers. That information will be used to develop recommendations for improving affordability, fairness and transparency.

“British Columbians are frustrated by ticket price gouging, and want action,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End. “Working with the people of B.C., our government is acting and will develop and bring forward new consumer protections to help make the ticket-buying experience fairer and more affordable.”

The survey is aimed at people in B.C. who buy tickets for live events, and those who sometimes resell their tickets, to ensure that changes will improve fairness and transparency in how tickets for live events are bought and sold.

The public consultation will look to find out specifics on how people feel about parts of the ticket-buying process, such as:

  • how often they purchase event tickets (from resellers, online, through a venue, etc.);
  • experiences reselling tickets; and
  • what changes are needed to improve the fairness in the buying and selling process.

British Columbians have many opportunities to see sports, concerts, live theatre and other cultural or recreational events throughout the province. This survey will help shape the way government gives everyone a fair chance at seeing their desired events.

Once the survey concludes, ministry staff will use the results to develop recommendations for improving fairness and transparency. The survey results will be available to the public later in the spring.

The survey is open to residents of British Columbia and can be taken here:


Quick Facts:

  • Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback through written submissions.
  • British Columbia is not alone in wanting to protect consumers from negative ticket-selling practices. Alberta and Ontario have passed legislation and had public consultations on ticket-buying practices, and acted on this issue.
  • A Canada-wide Angus Reid poll showed that four in five Canadians would agree with outright banning of software (“bots”) to jump the queue when tickets go on sale.
    • This poll showed that 50% of Canadians believe it is up to governments to make the necessary changes to protect Canadians.
    • Additionally, the poll said most Canadians see ticket reselling as a significant problem, and 80% believe that purchasing tickets with the specific purpose of reselling them is unfair.