Government to enforce AFL monopoly on scalping?

A nasty consequence of the pro-AFL “anti-scalping” laws passed by the previous government:

About eight weeks ago Michael… thought he had done well getting a premium ticket package which included pre and post match entertainment for $2170…. After he managed to to get a ticket as an AFL member for $138, he tried to sell his package ticket on eBay for $20 less than he had paid.

Yesterday he received a curt message from the AFL’s legal department cancelling his ticket with no compensation. He also discovered he faces possible charges for suspected scalping, an offence outlawed by the state government in 2006.

Net profit for the AFL: $2170. Net loss to Michael: $2170. Justification for this transfer of money from an ordinary (if apparently obscenely wealthy) citizen to the (much more obscenely wealthy) AFL? None that makes any sense.

If the anti-scalping laws were supposed to stop profiteering off Grand Final tickets, clearly the AFL’s $2170 tickets demonstrate how poorly they’re working. If they were supposed to further entrench corporate privilege at the expense of ordinary people… well, then mission accomplished. It’s the nasty way non-physical property is going these days. You don’t own the software you’ve paid for – just a “licence”. You don’t own the full game you’ve paid for – just the portion of content that isn’t locked away with a single-use code. You don’t own the tickets you’ve paid for – they can be cancelled.

Choice nails the real substance of the “anti-scalping” laws, in which Parliament enforces the privileges of a monopoly in screwing over its citizens:

Choice’s director of campaigns, Christopher Zinn, said he believed the problem of scalping was overblown by sports bodies like the AFL who wanted to monopolise ticket sales… ”We think there should be a legal secondary market so people can sell their tickets if they are ill or can’t attend for some other reason.”

If someone’s sick, why exactly should the AFL just get to keep their money and resell the seat? How is that just?

Here’s hoping the current government reviews the anti-scalping laws urgently. Here’s betting they won’t.

ELSEWHERE: Geelong’s principled support for the pokie reforms makes it the easy team to back on Saturday.

3 responses to “Government to enforce AFL monopoly on scalping?

  1. narcoticmusing

    I’m not sure if anyone here has purchased NFL tickets – they have set up a secure ‘scalping’ system to enable people that have purchased tickets to sell via the NFL to ensure that a) the buyer is guaranteed the tickets, and b) the seller doesn’t charge overly obscene rates.

    The regulated scalping system seems to work – sure, it might still cost $400 to see a Packers game because they are stupidly popular, but at least you don’t pay that and not get a ticket. The NFL will guarantee you the ticket. Plus the NFL / teams win because they get a cut of the scalped ticket and the originally sold ticket (via a ‘processing fee’).

  2. Ha! They got me. They sold the legislation as anti-scalping but I didn’t enquire as to their meaning of a simple english word. Scalping means to buy scarse tickets and resell above their face value. Apparently the gov meant it to mean any reselling of tickets. Double plus silly me. Doesn’t trade practices legislation, in the description of goods, apply to other government legislation?

    Interestingly, David Whiting said this morning that he couldn’t find the gov gazette lising of conditions concerning the legislation so it might not be valid.

  3. I could never understand the problem. Someone bought the ticket at the asking price, so the sporting event doesn’t lose out. Someone who really wanted to see the game gets to go, so the sporting event doesn’t lose out. It’s amazing how all of the free market enthusiasts go cold on the idea when it’s applied to them.

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