Elton John Toronto

Toronto furious after Elton John concerts sell out in seconds

It looks like Ontario's new, anti-ticket bot legislation is doing little to stop marquee events from selling out online within seconds – but only because nothing is actually being enforced.

Sorry, Elton John fans. 

Thousands of people were surprised and disappointed earlier this month to learn that tickets to both Toronto stops of the British superstar's last-ever tour were unavailable through Ticketmaster only moments after they'd gone on sale.

Some fans had been hopeful that, in light of the provincial government's December motion to pass a bill banning online ticket scalpers, scoring seats might be a bit easier than it has been in years past.

They were wrong.

Attorney General Ministry spokesman Emilie Smith told The Toronto Sun yesterday that, while the ticket-related consumer protection bill has been passed, it has not yet come into effect.

First, she said, the government needs to work with police and other enforcement officials on strategies to counter the illegal bots, as well as lay out administrative penalties for those who violate the law.

The province hasn't yet revealed when its Ticket Sales Act will come into force, but its worth noting that it took the U.S. almost two years to turn its anti-bot bill into law after it was introduced in 2015.

When it is enforced, the law is meant to "help prevent ticket fraud and excessive markups in the resale ticket market."

This, according to the government, includes banning ticket bots, capping the resale price of tickets at 50 per cent above face value and "requiring businesses selling or reselling tickets to disclose key information to consumers."

At last check, tickets to John's Wednesday evening show in Toronto were going for between $203 and $5,999 on StubHub.

Lead photo by

Yuichi Sakuraba


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