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Ontario to ban scalper bots

Ontario is promising to clamp down on online ticket scalping, a source of frustration and anger for fans who have often been unable to secure tickets to their favourite sport or music events.

The Liberal government said Monday it will introduce new legislation this fall that will make automated ticket-buying "bots" illegal. It would also cap markups on resold tickets at 50 per cent of their face value.

Under the proposed law, ticket resellers would have to disclose more information, including the face value of tickets and any surcharges.

The so-called "scalper bots" — software programs designed to purchase online a large number of tickets for a concert, show, or other event, enabling the person running the software to sell those tickets at a profit — made headlines last year when many Tragically Hip fans were unable to buy tickets to the band's farewell tour.

"By the time any real fan is able to log on and search for tickets the best seats are gone," said Yasir Naqvi, Ontario's attorney general, as he made the announcement.

"Many events sell out completely in minutes, even seconds, and many of these tickets end up on resale sites for huge mark ups, of course."



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