The recent court decision (24 February 2020) regarding ticket ‘touting’ is important given the severe jail sentences handed down to the persons involved. A National Trading Standards (NTS) spokesman said that it is “the first successful prosecution against a company fraudulently reselling tickets on a large scale”. A jury found Peter Hunter and David Smith guilty of three counts of fraudulent trading. This sentence related to a range of practices including falsely representing their identities when buying tickets and failing to inform consumers buying tickets that they were at risk of being refused entry. The accused were found guilty of a number of practices including the use of ‘bots’ to harvest tickets in a variety of methods using 112 different payment cards in 37 different names.
Audley Chaucer has been involved in similar cases and has gained significant knowledge in alleged ‘ticket touting’ cases. The recent landmark case, involving the singer Ed Sheeran, has sent shockwaves through the practice of ticket reselling – where tickets for events are bought and then sold on at inflated prices – is huge business within the UK. Many will have arrived at an event and seen unofficial people seeking to sell tickets outside a venue. This practice involving football matches is illegal in the UK under the Ticket Touting (Designation of Football Matches) Order 2007.
Unofficial ticketing is a worldwide issue whether for boxing matches in Thailand or sports in the USA. In the UK later this year another two cases are due to go to court. Audley Chaucer has knowledge and experience in this type of technical and complex case and can advise accordingly.

Ian Lake

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