Laws designed to stop ticket scalping at excessive prices are being openly flouted by a ticket reselling website that's targeting this weekend's AFL Preliminary Finals game in Sydney.
On Tuesday afternoon, CHOICE found ads on The Ticket Merchant's website selling tickets to the Saturday Sydney Swans versus Collingwood Preliminary Finals game at the SCG for $399 each.
The law in New South Wales, as in most other states, limits ticket reselling to 110% of the original purchase price of the ticket.
According to the AFL website, tickets to week three of the finals series at the SCG range from $65 to $193, meaning the $399 price tag is well above the legal mark-up for any ticket to the game.
The law in NSW, as in most other states, limits ticket reselling to 110% of the original purchase price
Some of the inflated tickets were still on sale as of Thursday.
The Office of Fair Trading NSW says on its website that the "maximum penalties for breaching ticket scalping laws are $110,000 for a corporation or $22,000 for an individual. Fair Trading can also issue a $550 fine for any offence under the laws, including one-off breaches".
We've previously written about the issues with ticket reselling websites such as Viagogo – the Switzerland-based company found to have breached anti-ticket scalping legislation on many occasions. In 2020 the company was fined $7 million in a case brought by the ACCC. (A check by CHOICE found that Viagogo were not selling tickets to this weekend's AFL game.)
But it appears the issue isn't limited to offshore operators.
The Ticket Merchant's website states that the company is proudly Melbourne-based, and ASIC documents show the company registered to a South Melbourne location since 2019.
Customers buying from a reselling website may be turned away from venues, not receive the ticket they paid for, or receive a fake ticket
The company did not respond to emailed questions from CHOICE about the AFL Finals tickets.
The ACCC warns customers thinking about buying tickets from a reselling website that they may be turned away from venues, not receive the ticket they paid for, or receive a fake ticket.
The NSW Office of Fair Trading told CHOICE it was illegal to resell tickets for profit, but declined to comment further on the case.
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