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Italian parliament green lights proposed ticket tout ban

By | Published on Thursday 1 December 2016

Ticket touts

Italy’s Chamber Of Deputies has approved an amendment to the country’s 2017 budget law that will basically outlaw ticket touting in the country, according to IQ.

As previously reported, the campaign against secondary ticketing in Italy has gained momentum very quickly, with live industry trade group Assomusica speaking out in October, and then political support for new regulation spiking in the wake of a TV exposé of the ticket resale market last month. That exposé included the boss of the local division of Live Nation admitting it had provided a small number of tickets for Italian shows by international acts directly to secondary sites.

Actually, the proposed new anti-tout law wouldn’t necessarily stop companies like Live Nation from putting tickets onto secondary sites, in that it will basically make it illegal for anyone but a promoter or an official agent of that promoter to sell tickets to events. Though a major crackdown on touting might make those within the music industry who also sell via the secondary sites less likely to do so.

Like similar anti-tout laws in France, the new Italian regulations would allow individuals to resell tickets they bought but no longer need. But the new law in Italy nevertheless has the potential to be the most draconian anti-tout regulation in the world, with fines of up to 180,000 euros for those who break the rules, and liabilities and penalties for any resale sites that facilitate illegal touting, including, ultimately, web-blocking.

There are still a few more formalities to be completed for the tout ban to actually become law, though IQ quotes a source who reckons that should all now happen without a hitch. Though if an upcoming referendum on constitutional reform in the country results in a “no” vote, wider political upheaval could slow things down. If it does become law, the next test will be to see how proactive the state is in actually enforcing the ban.

Back in the UK more modest regulatory reforms are on the table, of course, with moves to ban the use of ‘bots’ by touts to hoover up tickets from primary ticketing sites now widely supported in Westminster. Meanwhile, the BBC says that tax authority HMRC is now expected to investigate under-reporting of revenues by some industrial-level touts, something called for by the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee in Parliament following its recent hearing on all things secondary ticketing.