Using tout bots to buy tickets is now illegal

The government crackdown will result in unlimited fines for people who use bots to bulk buy tickets.

Becca Frankland

Date published: 5th Jan 2018

The government has announced new legislation under the Digital Economy Act which bans touts from using bots to buy tickets in bulk.

These automated bots have been used by touts in order to purchase a large quantity of event tickets, to then sell on at inflated prices, directly affecting real fans who will miss out on the gigs or be ripped off when purchasing from the secondary market. 

It is now a criminal offence to use this automated technology, and touts using the bots to exploit real fans will face unlimited fines.

Matt Hancock, minister for the creative industries, said: "We’re determined to make sure 2018 is the year we help real fans get the chance to see their favourite music and sports stars at a fair price. We’ll be acting to stamp out the growing problem of touts misusing technology to scoop up vast numbers of tickets only to sell them on at rip-off prices.

"Our work, together with improvements by industry, will help make the market more transparent and mean a great year for Britain’s thriving live events scene."

This news follows an investigation last year when officials raided four premises (including the offices of StubHub and Viagogo) as part of its investigation into the secondary ticketing market.

Some strides have been taken to combat touting, including The Digital Economy Bill becaming law last year, with The Competition And Markets Authority also announcing it would take action against resale sites. Google has also confirmed announced new global re-sale regulations.

We have been working to combat touting and unfair ticketing through innovative features like Re:Sell. We only allow resale at face value and we can verify that tickets being returned and resold are genuine. Find out more about Skiddle's Re:Sell platform