“We’re cracking down on scalpers to give fans a fair go at getting tickets to popular events like the Melbourne International Comedy Festival,” the spokesman said. “Under the legislation, tickets to a declared event cannot be advertised or resold for more than 10 per cent above the original value. Detection and monitoring activities take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Penalties for breaching Victoria’s anti-scalping laws can range from $806 to $483,500. When asked whether Viagogo would be fined over the incident, the government spokesman said investigations are ongoing. Viagogo has been contacted for comment.
Susan Provan, director of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, said she and her employees would be monitoring ticket resellers closely.
“Unfortunately Viagogo continue to allow listings of comedy festival tickets in breach of legislation, which means we continue to monitor their site,” she said. “The festival and government department are working on a communications campaign to encourage consumers to buy tickets directly from a primary source.”
Evelyn Richardson, the chief executive of industry group Live Performance Australia, said the incident was “further evidence Viagogo can’t be trusted”.
“Despite their PR mission to clean up their reputation, they’re still not compliant with Australian law,” she said. “The message for consumers is: don’t trust Viagogo. They say they’re complying with Australian laws but here’s a clear example of where they’re not. The regulators need to step-up their enforcement activity.”
Earlier this month, Viagogo reappeared in Australian Google searches via paid advertising. The company had previously been removed from paid Google listings due to consumer protection concerns.
There are claims as many as 200 people arrived at recent Elton John shows in Adelaide and Perth with unusable Viagogo tickets. The company disputes that figure but will not provide its own estimate. Last week, Viagogo’s global managing director Cris Miller described Australia’s ticketing market as a “protectionist racket”.