HomeInsightsSTAR (the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers) welcomes Government’s response to Professor Waterson’s review and recommendations for improving secondary ticketing market

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STAR says that the UK live entertainment industry is “the envy of the world”. It helps attract millions of visitors from around the globe and contributes over £6 billion to the UK economy annually. In addition to its pivotal role in our cultural life, it is also a major employer supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the length and breadth of the country. Members of STAR alone sell an average of a million tickets every week.

STAR Chief Executive, Jonathan Brown, said: “STAR has long advocated for legislation to specifically address the harvesting of tickets by automated software – ‘ticket bots’. We are therefore pleased that the Government will be dealing with this issue through the Digital Economy Bill. However, we also know we need far greater understanding and technical defences against bots across the primary market to prevent against such attacks.

Last year, in response to Professor Waterson’s suggestion (see item above), STAR says that it established a relationship with the Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP) and has been encouraging its members to participate in that forum and share information about cyber-security issues, including ticket bots.

Mr Brown continued: “As STAR’s primary purpose is to protect consumers, we have always promoted advice about how to buy tickets safely and we are pleased to include Professor Waterson’s independent advice to ticket buyers on our own website.

STAR says that its members already provide systems that help event owners prevent the resale of tickets with Glastonbury Festival, the forthcoming Iron Maiden tour and the West End musical, “Hamilton” as examples. STAR says it “whole-heartedly supports” event owners deploying existing and forthcoming technical solutions to prevent or control the resale of tickets. However, it says, “in fairness, they should also ensure that customers are never left with tickets they cannot use, cannot return and cannot resell.” To read STAR’s press release in full, click here.