November 28, 2017

Ontario Ticket Sales Act A Setback For Fans, Will Have Serious Unintended Consequences For Local Businesses

The Standing Committee on Social Policy in Ontario is expected to discuss amendments to the Attorney General’s Ticket Sales Act on Monday, November 27th, and legislation will pass as soon as Wednesday, November 29th. The act initially proposed new rules for buying and selling tickets including banning ticket bots, capping the resale price of tickets, and requiring businesses selling tickets to disclose more information to consumers. However, of the four amendments the government will bring forward, the only substantive motion expected is to strike the transparency proposal that would have forced primary ticket providers to provide number of tickets available to the public for an event.

StubHub engaged in good faith with Ontario’s government to arrive at what we believe would have been a better solution for fans. To be clear: We support the provisions that prevent the procurement and use of BOTS software. However, it’s incredibly disappointing that after a year of constructive dialogue, the outcome involves less transparency and diverts ticket sales and related business activity outside of Ontario to insecure sources that expose fans to increased counterfeit and fraud.

Founded in 2000, StubHub revolutionized the secondary ticket market by providing fans a safe, transparent and trusted marketplace to buy and sell tickets. With a Canadian head office in Toronto, and official partnerships with the Toronto Blue Jays, Ottawa REDBLACKS and others, fans who purchase tickets on StubHub are protected with an industry leading FanProtect™ Guarantee.

StubHub and other companies who do business in Ontario have expressed their respective concerns about provisions of this legislation including price caps that weaken protections for fans and negatively impact business investing in Ontario.

Consumers benefit from a competitive ticket marketplace where transactions occur through secure channels that prioritize fans. Furthermore, in a global marketplace, it is important to incentivize and encourage e-commerce right here in Ontario. StubHub is discouraged the only substantive amendment to the original draft bill rolls back transparency that would have provided actual benefit for consumers.

StubHub believes some provisions of Ontario’s legislation, according to available research, will displace tickets to insecure sources located outside of provincial jurisdiction, that don’t invest in Ontario and without consumer protections.

We have said from the onset that we believe there is a better way for the industry and for fans. To be clear, it’s our mission at StubHub to connect fans to incredible live event experiences, and to do so safely and securely by including money back guarantees and fraud prevention measures. The legislation, as drafted, is a disappointment for the ticketing industry, and a disappointment for fans.

Jeff Poirier, General Manager, Concerts and Theatre – North America at StubHub