Category Archives: Sport

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.