Online warriors: Province goes
after ticket-purchasing bots

It’s an experience to which anyone who has ventured online to purchase event tickets can relate.

A concert, sporting event or other performance is sold out within seconds of tickets going on sale.

Now the B.C. government is promising to do something about the bots, scalpers and unfair practices that have resulted in inflated costs for fans.

“Live events should be an enjoyable experience for British Columbians, not a windfall for scalpers,” said Mike Farnworth, the provincial Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“The action we’re taking is aimed at protecting people from unscrupulous scalpers and unfair practices that shut average people out from events in B.C.”

BC is not alone in wanting to protect consumers from negative ticket-selling practices. Alberta and Ontario have passed legislation and had public consultations on ticket-buying practices, and acted on this issue.

And you’re not alone if you’re frustrated with the whole online-purchasing experience.

A Canada-wide Angus Reid poll suggests four in five Canadians would agree with outright banning of software (“bots”) to jump the queue when tickets go on sale.

The poll also showed that 50% of Canadians believe it is up to governments to make the necessary changes to protect Canadians.

The province says it will go about the chore by first conducting a three-week survey on British Columbians’ experiences with ticket buying, reselling, and buying from resellers.

That information will be used to develop recommendations for improving affordability, fairness and transparency.

The survey is aimed at people in B.C. who buy tickets for live events, and those who sometimes resell their tickets, to ensure that changes will improve fairness and transparency in how tickets for live events are bought and sold.

Once the survey concludes, ministry staff will use the results to develop recommendations for improving fairness and transparency. The survey results will be available to the public later in the spring.

The survey is open to residents of British Columbia and can be taken here:

Share your voice: unlike at online ticket-purchasing sites, chances are pretty good you won’t get shut out by a bot.


Have your say . . .