Ontario Expands Laws Against Ticket Scalping

The Ontario government today proclaimed into force the Ticket Speculation Amendment Act, 2010 which amends the Ticket Speculation Act, RSO 1990, c. T-7.  According to this CBC story, the new legislation is intended to “stop U.S. entertainment giant Ticketmaster and others from selling and reselling tickets to the same event”.

As it stands, the Ticket Speculation Act makes virtually all sales of (or even attempts to sell) a ticket to a sports or entertainment event (whether a “theatre, opera house, public hall, show, game, grandstand, race meeting, exhibition or amusement of any kind”) for any amount over the face value of the ticket an offence subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.

Municipalities may also have by-laws which speak to the matter of “scalping” – the City of Toronto’s Municipal Code contains Chapter 743-2 which prohibits using or occupying “a street for the purposes of the sale, or offering for sale, of event tickets”.  Violating that provision of the Municipal Code carries its own fine of up to $5,000.  (There have been a couple of unsuccessful attempts by persons charged with violating the Code to argue that the provincial law somehow supercedes or renders unenforceable the municipal law – see City of Toronto v. Cacciatore (2007 ONCJ 92 (CanLII), affirmed Toronto (City of) v. Cacciatore (2002 CanLII 44998 (ONCA)), and R. v. Koverko (2005 ONCJ 420 (CanLII)).)

Julie Gibson, in 2008, wrote a nice overview in the Lawyers Weekly of ticket scalping legislation throughout Canada: Hot tickets – The move from streetside scalping to online ticket speculation.

Subscribe and stay updated
Receive our latest blog posts by email.
Bob Tarantino

About Bob Tarantino

Bob Tarantino is Counsel at Dentons Canada LLP and focuses his practice on the interface between the entertainment industries and intellectual property law, with an emphasis on film and television production, financing, licensing, distribution, and IP acquisition and protection. His clients range from artists and independent producers to Canadian distributors and foreign studios and financiers at every stage of the creative process, from development to delivery and exploitation.

Full bio