Ontario has plans to outlaw ‘scalper bots’

October 24, 2016

Remember when The Tragically Hip went out on what was likely their last tour of Canada, and tickets were predictably impossible to get? That was a drag. But then we found out the whole reason that they were so hard to grab was because ‘scalper bots’ had been snatching them up and selling them on ticket resale websites for thousands of dollars. Super drag. Well, thankfully the Ontario government is planning to outlaw that whole gross and annoying part of the ticket buying process. Which hopefully means that all the terrible people who profited from a nation’s affection for a man with a lethal cancer diagnosis won’t be able to do things like that anymore.



As CBC reports, the legislation will work off of Liberal MPP Sophie Kiwala’s private member’s bill, and Ontario’s Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said that targeting the bots isn’t the only thing he plans to do about all the ticket-buying nonsense: “We want to look at transparency around ticket prices on the tickets, also talk about how many tickets are for sale, you know, when a concert comes out, so consumers have sufficient information and can make an informed decision.” That would be pretty cool, considering that I’ve never been able to figure out what all the extra fees tacked onto the tickets I buy from Ticketmaster are for.

This can’t necessarily put an end to ticket resale sites price gouging customers, as even if all the bots were out of the picture, individuals are still able to sell the tickets themselves at spots like StubHub. Still, it would do major damage on the number of tickets that show up on those sites. But, because many of these scalper bots aren’t even based in Canada, the big question remains just what would have to be done to stop them. Hopefully, though, this becomes an initial battle victory in the impending human-robot war.


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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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