ticket resale cap ontario

Ontario government making it easier for scalpers to jack up ticket prices

The idea of capping ticket prices on resale sites like StubHub was nice, while it lasted, but the dream is now dead as per the PC government's new budget.

Ontario has officially nixed a part of the previous Liberal government's Ticket Sales Act that would have capped resale prices on concert and sporting event tickets at 50 per cent above the original face value.

The Act itself, which contained a number of new regulations aimed at cracking down on scalpers and bots, came into effect on July 1, shortly after Doug Ford took office as Premier, but with some modifications.

For whatever reason, Ford's government suspended the ticket capping portion of the Act in July by adding a note that it would come into force "on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor."

That day never came, and with the unveiling of Ontario's 2019 budget on Thursday, we now know why.

"Ontario's Government for the People is proposing amendments to the Ticket Sales Act aimed at improving the choice and protections enjoyed by consumers in Ontario when they purchase tickets," reads the budget.

One of such modifications includes "removing unproclaimed and unenforceable provisions to introduce a price cap on ticket resales, which would have driven consumers to buy tickets on the black market and further drive up costs."

Critics like NDP leader Andrea Horwath are wondering if complaints from the likes of StubHub, which is owned by eBay, had anything to do with the government's decision, but Government and Consumer Services Minister Bill Walker told reporters on Monday that a price cap is simply "unenforceable."

"It was like a lot of things with the Liberals," he said. "It was a nice soundbite, but there was no enforcement."

What the PCs are intent on enforcing is legislation aimed at bots: They've increased fines for non-compliance with the scalper bot prohibition portion of the act from $10,000 to $25,000.

Lead photo by

Udo Dengler


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