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Fighting ticket touts: the duty to provide ticket information, lessons from first test case under s.90 Consumer Rights Act 2015

Sports Ticket
Friday, 26 July 2019 By Louise Millington-Roberts

For those of us who work in event management, ticketing has always been a contentious issue. The government’s historic preference was for the industry to police itself, this was until it acknowledged the scale of ticket fraud in the UK and the lack of transparency the consumer faced.1 When the government made the historic decision that the industry should no longer continue to regulate itself, it introduced obligations on sellers of tickets via secondary ticketing facilities, and on the secondary operators themselves, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA 2015).

April 2019 saw the conclusion of a test case under the new legislation that those in secondary ticketing had been eagerly anticipating. The case was brought by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) against Worldwide Ticket Limited. It named ticket touts who had been trading in tickets on the secondary market in breach of Section 90 of the CRA 2015 (see footnotes2) which relates to the duties on re-sellers to provide information about tickets. Despite the ticket touts admittance of their guilt, the case (which was the first of its kind heard by a Tribunal) granted their appeals due to administrative failings on behalf of NYCC (as described below). The case does however highlight the procedure that must be followed, as well as providing guidance when setting financial penalties. A copy of the decision is available here.3

This article analyses the case and the lessons learned from it. Please note that this article builds upon the author’s previous LawInSport articles that cover historical developments in this area of law written in 20134 20145 and 20176.

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Louise Millington-Roberts

Louise Millington-Roberts

Louise has extensive experience working with major brands in the field of sport, media, commercial and intellectual property law, providing practical commercial advice on specialist legal matters including rights and brand protection, the commercialisation of brand, sponsorship, endorsement, and event management.

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