December 21, 2017

Consequences of the Ticket Sales Act on Ontario

Last week, the Ontario Legislative Assembly passed the Ticket Sales Act. The legislation includes several major provisions:

  • A prohibition on the use of bots to procure tickets
  • A cap on the resale price of tickets at 50% over “face value”
  • A requirement that ticket issuers print the “face value” on every ticket distributed
  • “Face value” and broker information disclosures for secondary ticketing platforms
  • A requirement that ticket businesses list their prices in Canadian currency
  • A private right of action for ticket businesses to sue each other over violations of the law 

StubHub has been actively working in opposition to certain provisions of the Ticket Sales Act for the past year. The team has engaged with the Ontario government, key members of the opposition parties, the media, and industry stakeholders. StubHub led the industry opposition effort to the price caps provision – with primary ticket issuers, the broader music industry, ticket brokers, and Chambers of Commerce at the federal and provincial level weighing-in in opposition.

Despite these efforts, the bill passed as expected by a unanimous vote of the majority Liberal party. Both Opposition parties voted unanimously against the legislation. At this time, there is no clear direction on the effective date of the legislation.

With the bill’s passage, the regulatory process will begin and clarity will be developed around the legislation’s provisions and effective date. Through this process, StubHub will continue to engage with government and continue to challenge the practicality and enforceability of the legislation – particularly the price caps provision.

Recent media coverage has leaned favorably towards StubHub’s perspective, particularly focused on the unintended consequences of price caps and the decision by government to remove proposed transparency requirements on the primary market.

StubHub will continue to engage with government and critics alike to articulate the consequences the Ticket Sales Act will have on Ontario fans and businesses.