Attorney General of Ontario joins MPP Sophie Kiwala in fight to ‘beat the bots’

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

KINGSTON – The final show on the Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem tour in Kingston was the hottest ticket in the entire country last summer.
But getting your hands on one of those tickets was nearly impossible.
Thousands of fans were left empty handed due to online scalpers snagging them first then re-selling them for upwards of 20 times the original price.
Andrew Young/Frustrated Ticket Buyer:
“We didn’t even close to getting tickets. Not even to the page people were talking about. We found that frustrating.”
When MPP Sophie Kiwala heard about the struggle she decided to introduced a private member’s bill that would ban companies from using ‘scalper-bots’ used to buy out tickets to special events… leading to sky high inflated ticket prices.
Sophie Kiwala/MPP, Kingston and the Islands:
“It’s the people who develop technology to create as much profit as possible within literally seconds.”
The Attorney General of Ontario joined Kiwala in Kingston for the first of many town halls — they want to ‘beat the bots’ once and for all – and they want help from Ontario residents.
Yasir Naqvi/Attorney General of Ontario:
“What we are focused on is creating a level playing field where everybody, the fans, the artists and the industry has a fair shot at this. We’re not interested in screwing the rules in anyones favour.”
Heather Senoran:
“During the town hall the public was split into 4 groups to discuss 4 key areas…accessibility, affordability, enforcement and transparency.”
Paul Smith/Frustrated Ticket Buyer:
“If there’s no known penalty for transgression then people are going to go around it so you’ve got to have enforcement. You can’t have carrot without stick.”
The ‘Ticket Speculation Amendment Act’ or ‘Bill 22’ passed second reading and now lies in the hands of the general government committee.
Kiwala says government legislation could be released as early as this spring.

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