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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007, 18:19 GMT
Ticket touts face tougher rules
Concert crowd
Easier exchange of unwanted tickets is seen as a priority
Ticket touts could face tighter controls on big events like the Concert for Diana under new plans being considered by the government.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has praised moves to combat touts, such as clearer resale information and exchange facilities.

But it said the most "important" events may need more regulation.

However, concert promoters said they were disappointed the DCMS rejected a ban on reselling tickets for a profit.

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell discussed the possibility of tighter controls with leading players from the live music industry on Thursday.

It would be unfair if consumers were unable to sell their own tickets and get their money back - we don't want to criminalise genuine fans
Tessa Jowell
Culture secretary
While Ms Jowell praised moves by some event organisers, she said more may have to be done for "events of national importance".

A clampdown could affect events like the Concert for Diana, which is due to take place this summer, featuring Sir Elton John and Duran Duran.

Tickets started appearing on auction website eBay at more than five times the 45 face value within minutes of going on sale in December.

Organisers had attempted to discourage touts by limiting buyers to four seats per application.

'Unfair practices'

Ms Jowell said: "We want to address the problems faced by fans - paying through the nose for a ticket with a poor view or handing over cash for a ticket that never existed.

"Progress has been made but we're going to continue to work with the industry to cut off the commercial opportunities for ticket touts and stamp out unfair practices.

"But it would be unfair if consumers were unable to sell their own tickets, for whatever reason, and get their money back - we don't want to criminalise genuine fans."

But the Concert Promoters' Association called for members to pressure the DCMS for new laws banning ticket resale.

A spokesman said: "We welcome the secretary of state's clear statement that the government are against anyone re-selling a ticket for commercial gain.

"But we are frustrated that they have still not acted to give us the necessary tools to self-police our touts."

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