What legislation is there in place to deal with ticket touting for general sports fixtures?
There is specific legislation which has been put in place to deal with the unauthorised selling of tickets for football matches by the following statutes:
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006
The London 2012 Olympic Games
There has been specific legislation put in place to deal with the unauthorised selling of tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games by the following statute:
The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006
Football is the most popular sport for our nation and clearly the 2012 Olympics is the biggest event to be happening to England in the near future but touting is not an activity which is strictly limited to football or the Olympics. There is still a significant black market associated with tickets for international rugby matches and cricket matches such as the Ashes.
The following pieces of legislation can be used to combat the touting of tickets at general sporting matches:
The Fraud Act 2006
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
The Fraud Act 2006
The introduction of the Fraud Act replaced the deception offences seen previously under the Theft Act 1986 by introducing a number of dishonesty offences.
Application to ticket touting
Section 2 of the Fraud Act creates an offence of fraud by false representation which is the most clear provision which can be applied to ticket touting.
The following needs to be proven to establish fraud by false representation:
The tout needs to make a representation that he is authorised to sell the tickets
The tout must know that the representation is or might be false
The tout must do this with a view to making a financial gain and/or exposing the buyer to the risk of a loss
Does this apply to transactions over the internet?
Fraud by false misrepresentation applies to transactions over the internet as they are specifically brought within the remit by Section 2(4) and (5).
What will be likely sentencing be under the Fraud Act?
If a tout is found guilty of fraud by false representation then he will be liable to 12 months imprisonment and / or a fine on summary conviction.
Even the case passes to a trial then a tout convicted of fraud by false representation could be handed down a maximum sentence of 10 years and / or a fine.
For more information on:
- Problems with the Fraud Act
- Untrue or misleading statements
- The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002