New poll finds Canadians want an end to tyranny of ticket scalping ‘bots’

FILE PHOTO: Canadian concertgoers are saying enough to ticket scalpers using 'bots'.
FILE PHOTO: Canadian concertgoers are saying enough to ticket scalpers using 'bots'. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Music devotees in British Columbia looking to score tickets to concerts are having a tough time in comparison to other provinces, according to a new poll released today.

The Canada-wide online survey done by Insights West, showed 35 per cent of concertgoers in B.C., who went to a performance over the past three years, have had a difficult experience getting tickets through a primary ticket outlet, like Ticketmaster, in comparison to Quebec at 20 per cent and Atlantic Canada at nine per cent.

One of the main roadblocks, according to the poll, is the way tickets are sold online. Ticket scalpers are often using “bots” or computer programs to snap up large swaths of tickets online, which they then resell at a higher price through a “secondary” ticket business.

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Due to the challenges of obtaining a ticket to concerts like The Tragically Hip or Adele, which sold out in minutes, entertainment enthusiasts would like to see tougher legislation to deal with scalpers.

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READ MORE: Vancouver Tragically Hip fans vent frustration after presale tickets are snapped up

Almost all of Canadians polled by Insights West said they would support enacting similar legislation that is currently being considering in New York state — where scalpers caught using ‘bots’ would possibly get severe fines or jail time.

Nationally, the poll found that three-in-ten Canadians who go to concerts have been unable to buy tickets and 17 per cent say they bought tickets through a secondary service like StubHub.

However critics have said it’s buyer beware when it comes to third-party ticket sellers as prices are often inflated.

Spencer Chandra Herbert, NDP MLA for Vancouver-West End, has been pushing for legislative change since 2009.

What do you think? Take our poll below.


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