B.C. rolls out new ticket-buying rules for live events

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      If you've ever felt ripped off for having to pay an exorbitant amount for concert or hockey tickets, here's some good news.

      Today the B.C. government announced the Ticket Sales Act, which comes info effect tomorrow (July 1) and is aimed at giving ticket buyers more transparency, fairer processes, and better consumer protections when purchasing tickets for live events in the province.

      "Before the pandemic, British Columbians told us they were frustrated with not being able to get tickets to live events in their local area without resorting to tickets sold on the secondary market at highly inflated prices," says Mike Farnworth, B.C. minister of public safety and solicitor general, in a press release.

      "The Ticket Sales Act will provide greater transparency and accountability in the industry so people will have a fair shot at getting tickets and be confident that better consumer protections are in place."

      According to the press release, the Ticket Sales Act will:

      •      promote fairness for ticket buyers by banning bots that buy large quantities of tickets for resale purposes;
      •      ban businesses from selling tickets that they don't have or control to consumers;
      •      establish clear rules for when ticket buyers are owed a refund
      •      increase transparency about ticket prices, terms and conditions and whether it is a ticket reseller that is offering the ticket for sale;
      •      establish enforcement and compliance tools to ensure the rules are followed;
      •      provide a right to civil action for losses or damages as the result of a contravention of the legislation.

      "We are all excited to attend live concerts, sports and performances again," adds Bob D'Eith, parliamentary secretary for arts and film. "We're making sure consumers will be better protected when buying advance tickets, so they can look forward to enjoying the cultural activities we've all missed so much."

      For info on what led to the creation of the Ticket Sales Act, see the B.C. government report titled Ticket Buying in British Columbia—What We Heard.