Carrie Lam pledges to get tougher on ticket scalpers

The city’s leader yesterday vowed the government would move to curb ticket scalping following public outcry over touts snatching up and inflating the price of tickets.

Speaking at Legco yesterday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) would review the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance to clamp down down on the practice, which has increasingly infuriated concertgoers.

Lam said the government would look at expanding the rules to cover state-run venues and consider classifying scalping as a criminal act with a higher penalty.

The laws currently only cover private venues that hold entertainment licenses and not government facilities.

Lam also said the department was considering a requirement to sell tickets via a real name registration system, something that could stop scalpers from snatching up tickets for resale on the internet.

Most recently, the practice infuriated fans of K-Pop band EXO, with tickets for their June performances in Hong Kong appearing online at several times the official price even before they went on full public sale.

Meanwhile, organizers for a show by Japanese film composer Joe Hisaishi last month announced an extra show, with tickets to be sold via a lottery system, after the show sold out within minutes, only for passes to almost immediately reappear on second-party websites at massively inflated prices.

A similar pattern also occurred for an upcoming “farewell tour” by local comedian Dayo Wong, who you may have seen on billboards dressed his James Bond parody character “Agent Mr Chan.”

According to the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance, reselling tickets without consent is illegal, and offenders can be fined up to HK$2,000 (US$255).

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