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Ontario scraps ticket resale price cap, increases fines for violating ticket law

Last Updated Apr 15, 2019 at 3:35 pm EDT

Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards are shown at a box office in San Jose, Calif., on May 11, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Paul Sakuma

Ontario is scrapping part of a law that would have capped ticket resale prices at 50 per cent above the original face value.

The Progressive Conservative government paused implementation of that section of the Ticket Sales Act – brought in by the previous Liberal government – shortly after the election last year.

The government says in its new budget that it is now cancelling the rule, calling it unenforceable and saying it would have driven consumers to buy tickets on the black market and further drive up costs.

Other changes to the Ticket Sales Act in the Tory budget include requiring primary ticket sellers to disclose how many tickets are going on sale, if the tickets are going to be made available in batches.

The fine for non-compliance with the law would also be increased from $10,000 to $25,000.

The former Liberal government initially introduced the legislation, aimed at tackling “scalper bots” that scoop up huge blocks of tickets, after an outcry from fans shut out of the Tragically Hip’s farewell tour.

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