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BC NDP says crackdown on scalper bots is in the works

Pink, pictured in concert in June 2013. Angry fans took to Twitter on Friday after tickets for her Vancouver show sold out in moments. Getty Images

There may be hope on the horizon for B.C. fans frustrated with online “bots” snapping up tickets to hot concerts, with the province signalling legislation is on the way.

Fans of artist Pink were the latest to vent their frustrations online, after tickets for the show vanished online almost instantly, only to reappear on resale sites for many times their face value.

It’s just the latest example of a problem that’s increasingly plaguing online ticket sales.

U2 fans and those hoping to see the Tragically Hip perform in their farewell tour voiced similar frustrations in recent months.

READ MORE: Ontario government to introduce legislation to ban scalper bots

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Now, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the province is weighing its options on how to counter the problem.

“It it something my ministry is currently working on. [We’re] looking at the options that are out there.”

WATCH: Ontario cracking down on ticket buying ‘bots’, capping resold tickets

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Ontario cracking down on ticket buying ‘bots’, capping resold tickets – Jun 26, 2017

That includes looking to jurisdictions like Ontario, which has just introduced its own legislation banning bots, Farnworth said.

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Ontario’s legislation both outlaws the computer programs that buy up large batches of tickets to resell, and also puts a cap on ticket resale prices.

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: In defence of ticket scalping

But while Farnworth has indicated action will be coming in B.C., he said it likely won’t arrive before the spring due to the complexity of the issue.

“As in many public policy issues, particularly ones involving technology and the ability to relocate outside the province and outside the country, there’s a lot of legal issues,” he said.

“You’ve got to try and find a way to work around and work through.”

If legislation is passed, Farnworth said some aspects could be implemented immediately while others might require regulatory changes.

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