New measures launched to curb ticket-scalping

January 23, 2019 17:10
Concerts to be held by Canto-pop singer Leo Ku at the Hong Kong Coliseum (seen in picture) were among the events that were brought under new ticket sales rules introduced by the LCSD. Photo: HKEJ

The government has launched fresh measures to combat ticket-scalping amid growing concern over illegal resale of entry passes for popular entertainment shows and events in the city.

According to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), organizers of in-demand concerts and other popular entertainment shows can now sell tickets in advance only through the Internet, mobile apps and dedicated phone hotlines, rather than physical booths.

Ticket-seekers will be required to make their purchases online or though mobile or phone channel by using credit cards, rather than queuing up at physical ticket sales counters.

In addition, people who order the tickets can get them in hand, during a 14-day period until the event date, only by presenting the credit card for verification.

The new rules were put in place at the end of last year, according to the LCSD.

Concerts being held by Canto-pop singer Leo Ku Kui-kei at the Hong Kong Coliseum in April, for which ticket sales began last week, were among the events at the venue to be brought the new ticket sales rules, Apple Daily reports.

While tickets for the Hong Kong singer’s show can still be bought at physical booths, such facility will only come later on, after the sale through online, mobile and phone channels.

The new arrangements apply to in-demand events held the Hong Kong Coliseum at the moment, the LCSD said.

The department said it believes the new measures are necessary to ensure tickets are sold in a fair and orderly fashion and to help resolve the problems arising from people queuing up at ticket booths.

As for the proposed “real-name registration” system that requires the name of the buyer be printed on the tickets, the Home Affairs Bureau, which suggested in November last year for revision of the law to give scalpers heavier punishments, did not explicitly voice support for such a system.

Authorities are rethinking the plan as some event organizers had expressed concern that the real-name registration rule would adversely affect ticket sales.

Show-goers would need to arrive two hours in advance at the venue where the event is held in order to have their identity verified, organizers have pointed out.

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