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Scalping not a big problem, senators say

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Concert-goers and sports fans can breathe easy: ticket scalping isn’t a big deal in Australia, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

Because of this, the committee looking into the matter doesn’t see the need for any further regulation.

But it does say the state and federal governments could work together to have greater co-ordination in how to deal with the scalping that does occur.

Committee chair Senator Mark Bishop was surprised to find only minimal evidence of ticket scalping across the country.

“I had expected the opposite,” he said on releasing the inquiry report on Wednesday.

Several disgruntled Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and AFL fans had told the committee of their difficulties in getting tickets over the past year.

But ticketing companies and entertainment and sporting groups told the committee large-scale, concerted ticket scalping efforts were rare in Australia.

They said it was important to distinguish between genuine re-selling of tickets – for instance if someone bought tickets to a concert and then couldn’t go – and scalping purely for profit.

Many said anti-scalping laws in place in some states and elsewhere in the world were ineffective and difficult to enforce.

The committee recommends an industry-wide standard of conduct be established to give more transparency over how tickets can be issued and distributed.

It also suggests the consumer watchdog look at increasing education around the sale and re-sale of tickets and what rights buyers have.

But independent senator Nick Xenophon, who initiated the inquiry, says there should be national anti-scalping laws.

He wants a cap on re-sales above the original purchase price, powers to block sites selling scalped tickets and sites like eBay to have to tell authorities the identities of scalpers.

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