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Ontario passes law to ban scalper bots, strengthen ticket laws

Last Updated Dec 13, 2017 at 12:19 pm EST

A woman uses her computer keyboard to type while surfing the internet in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, December, 19, 2012. Federal officials have advised Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to put the brakes on setting up a publicly accessible database of high-risk child sex offenders. The previous Conservative government ushered in legislation that opened the door to allowing the RCMP to create such a database as part of measures to crack down on child predators.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Scalper bots are now banned in Ontario, as a bill to enact various measures to protect ticket buyers passed today, though the ticket industry warns some parts of it may actually disadvantage fans.

The provisions in a new Ticket Sales Act are contained in omnibus consumer protection legislation passed by the majority Liberal government that also includes strengthening rules around home warranties, real estate practices and travel services in Ontario.

Changes to ticket selling laws include banning so-called scalper bots, which buy a large number of tickets online for an event then resell them at a large profit.

The legislation also bans tickets from being resold at more than 50 per cent of the face value and makes it illegal to knowingly resell tickets that were purchased by bots.

Ticket sellers would also have to display an itemized list of all fees, taxes and service charges, and resellers would have to disclose the face value of the ticket.

But Ticketmaster has warned that the legislation puts companies that are playing by the rules at a disadvantage, and ticket resale site StubHub says capping ticket resale prices artificially controls a global market and will lead to unintended consequences.