AS Biss steers crackdown campaign on ticket touts

Britain’s major sporting and entertainment bodies have joined forces for a campaign to crack down on ticket touts.

The drive, run by AS Biss & Co, has the backing of Robbie Williams, Cliff Richard, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Rugby Football Union.

Touting has been illegal at football matches for 11 years, and a motion to make it illegal at the 2012 London Olympics is going through parliament.

An alliance of bodies that includes the Society of Ticket Agents and the Concert Promoters' Association is lobbying the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to make all touting illegal.

AS Biss director Tim Payton told PRWeek: 'The sports and entertainment industries will be working with [Culture Secretary] Tessa Jowell to consider whether new legislation is essential to deal with the scourge of ticket touting.'

The coalition claims touting has been exacerbated by the adoption of more sophisticated methods, such as using internet auction sites and seemingly professional websites.

Some websites operate a 'futures' market, selling tickets before their official release at prices above face value. They often leave customers without the tickets for which they have paid.

As well as the DCMS, AS Biss will lobby the Home Office and handle media relations. Although the ultimate goal is to outlaw touting, the campaign will also examine how customers can be made better aware of the dangers of buying tickets from touts.

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