The Government has announced new legislation that will ban ticket touts from using automated software to avoid security measures and secure more tickets than allowed by event organisers, often selling them on at significantly inflated prices.

A new criminal offence, to be brought forward through the Digital Economy Act, will mean those who break the law will face an unlimited fine. This move brings the UK to the forefront of the fight against touts exploiting fans. The legislation recently moved closer to fruition as the government notified the European Commission of its plans to take forward the proposals.

Matt Hancock, minister for the creative industries, commented: “We’re determined to make sure 2018 is the year we help real fans get the chance to see their favourite music and sports stars at a fair price.

“We’ll be acting to stamp out the growing problem of touts misusing technology to scoop up vast numbers of tickets only to sell them on at rip-off prices. Our work, together with improvements by industry, will help make the market more transparent and mean a great year for Britain’s thriving live events scene.”

The new legislation is part of a wider Government drive to make sure genuine fans are not losing out through the secondary ticketing market. This includes the Digital Economy Act 2017 putting additional requirements on ticket sellers to provide a unique ticket number where one was originally given and revised Consumer Rights Act guidance clarifying the information that should be provided on sale restrictions when reselling tickets.