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G4S Events Reports On Ticket Tout Index

G4S Secure Solutions (UK And Ireland) : 24 May, 2010  (Technical Article)
Despite falling profits for ticket touts, Britain's concert fans are continuing to present event security risks by spending money on tickets on the black market
Touts selling tickets through online auction sites are typically earning 59% profit on every ticket sold. Touts continue to rip off consumers by charging hugely inflated prices for tickets to events such as rock concerts and rugby matches, reveals G4S Events' 2010 Ticket Tout Index. Touts are snapping up hundreds of tickets for events they have no intention of ever attending and this is driving up prices for real fans.

Online touts were identified selling hundreds of tickets for a single event and are estimated to be generating huge profits selling thousands of tickets each year. G4S estimates that a committed tout can earn in excess of £28,000 each year, £2,200 more than the average UK salary.

It is not only online that touts are exploiting consumers, G4S sent researchers to a key fixture for a recent international rugby tournament and found touts swarming outside the stadium. Tickets were selling for up to 142% over their face value at £85, when they cost just £35. Touts took advantage of desperate fans, promoting seats as being by the stadium's pitch side tunnel when they were actually located in the final row of the upper tier.

It is not just sell out gigs where fans find themselves targeted by touts. At a gig by a North American rap star in London, researchers found organised gangs of touts in the tunnel leading to the arena selling tickets at inflated prices of up to 50% over the face value despite the gig not being a sell out.

Festival fever has gripped the UK with touts making an average of a third (32%) profit on tickets for this summer's biggest live music events. Hundreds of tickets for the Reading festival featuring Guns and Roses, The Libertines and Blink 182 are being touted online and are regularly selling for 38% over their face value. However, beyond the festival circuit tickets for gigs and concerts are not securing as big a premium as previous years, trading on average for 22% over the face value in 2010 compared to 53% in 2009.

Mark Hamilton, Managing Director G4S Events, commented: "Touts continue to secure huge profits at the expense of sports and music fans. Fans are helping drive hugely inflated prices in the secondary market and continue to pour thousands of pounds into the wallets of the touts. But, fans should be aware that in buying tickets from unauthorised outlets they could find themselves barred from entering events if their tickets are found to be fraudulent, or their identification does not match up with the ticket purchaser."

In a trend following the previous year's Index, sports tickets are resold consistently for far more than their face value. Sports tickets in 2010 are reselling on online auction sites for 85% more than the original selling price, an increase of 14% on 2009 (71%). A rugby ticket for the Heineken Cup semi-final between Munster and the Northampton Saints sold for £144, a staggering 188% over the face value.

Hamilton continued: "There are serious security reasons for crowd segregation and the resale of tickets can hamper efforts by police and security providers to ensure health and safety in stadiums. Heated rivalries can unfortunately overspill into physical or verbal aggression and it is vital that every effort is made to keep opposing fans apart."


* A pair of tickets to see Paul McCartney at the Dublin RDS sold for £450, 235% over their face value
* A pair of Michael Buble tickets at the O2 arena sold for 116% over the face value
* A pair of tickets for the V Festival sold for £430 despite a face value of just £162.50

Researchers found many of the tickets sold are 'phantom tickets' and do not even exist, as touts prey on the public's desire to secure 'must have' tickets for sold out events. Tickets for the Kings of Leon Hyde Park gigs were being advertised by online touts before they had even been released for sale to the public.
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