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Are 'Bots' the Reason You Can Never Get Tickets for Popular Concerts and Matches?

Friday, December 26, 2014   (0 Comments)

This is Money (12/11/14) Straus, Rachel Rickard

Experts say ticketing software often is used to buy tickets in bulk for sale on the secondary reselling market at inflated prices, and the problem is compounded by little transparency. "If we could see who was selling large numbers of tickets, we’d have a greater chance of finding the people using the bots," says All-Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse co-chair and member of British Parliament Sharon Hodgson. U.K. ticketing fraud expert Reg Walker reports more than 30 percent of 120,000 ticket sales for high-demand events this year went to secondary online reseller marketplaces, while top secondary ticket website Viagogo disputes these estimates, claiming the actual number is much lower. Ticketing sites contend they are striving to address the problem. "We have a series of automatic checks that are in place, including Captcha and IP address monitoring, as well as a team who manually checks all orders for any suspicious activity," says a Ticketmaster spokesperson. Hodgson, however, doubts the use of ticketing bots will go away as long as the practice remains profitable for touts. Walker says the secondary sites have a vested interest in not clamping down on touts, as the resale of tickets benefits them. The sites counter it is ticket sellers' responsibility to regulate whom they sell their tickets to.

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