'Voluntary code' to stop eBay ticket touts

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The government today announced that it would crack down on touting of tickets for major sporting events by introducing a voluntary code of conduct for event organisers, promotors and ticket agents. Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said that his department would work with the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers to develop consumer protection guidelines, including a limit on the number of tickets which could be sold to one individual, and clear refund policies.

An outright ban had been widely predicted, as several newspapers had stated the announcement would see tickets for events like Wimbledon and The Ashes treated like football tickets, which are . Instead, the aim is to have more tickets in the hands of fans, and fewer block-booked by touts to be resold at huge profits. The Daily Mail talked of the danger of criminalising “ordinary fans” just trying to dispose of unwanted tickets, who, as an eBay spokesperson said, “appreciate the right to sell what’s theirs”.

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