Canadians are fed up with bots and ticket resellers and want the government to make the secondary market illegal, a new poll by Angus Reid Institute suggests.
The vast majority of those surveyed, 81 per cent, want bots to be illegal and have resellers face fines or jail time if they break the law. A similar majority — 76 per cent — called the bots a “huge problem,” Angus Reid found.
CBC’s Marketplace uncovered last year how sophisticated software, also called bots, can purchase thousands of tickets within milliseconds of seats going on sale while scalpers are then able to sell the tickets online to fans, often at a profit.
While ticket reselling along with the bots that purchase tickets are not illegal in Canada, it’s clear many people in this country would like the scheme outlawed.
The issue made national headlines last year when two-thirds of tickets for the Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem tour were snapped up by brokers and bots within minutes; leaving some lifelong fans dismayed, unable to afford the resale markup.
‘A lot of frustration’
After tickets are gobbled up by bots faster than any human could buy a ticket, fans are often forced to turn to secondary markets, like SeatGeek or StubHub, where prices can several times higher than the original cost.
“You’re talking about cultural events, concerts, sports events … that people like to go to,” said Shachi Kurl, executive director of Angus Reid Institute.
“There’s a lot of frustration in terms of being able to get access.”
The Angus Reid poll, the first public poll on this issue, was conducted through an online survey from April 17 to 20 among a randomized sample of 1,517 Canadian adults. A probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, the institute said.
“You don’t need to be someone who’s a U2 fan or a Tragically Hip fan to understand the level of disappointment when tickets for those…