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$22,000 fine: AFL ticket scalpers on notice over excessive prices

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
Sydney Swans and Collingwood AFL players mid-game and Australian currency.
AFL fans have been warned about excessive ticket prices. (Source: Getty)

Aussies trying to get their hands on tickets to the AFL preliminary finals game in Sydney on Saturday will need to keep an eye out for eye-watering ticket prices.

Laws designed to stop ticket scalping at excessive prices are being openly flouted by a ticket-reselling website, according to CHOICE.

CHOICE found ads on The Ticket Merchant's website selling tickets to Saturday’s match between the Sydney Swans and Collingwood at the SCG for $399 each.

The law in New South Wales, as in most other states, limits ticket reselling to 110 per cent of the original purchase price of the ticket.

“According to the AFL website, tickets to week three of the finals series at the SCG range from $65 to $193, meaning the $399 price tag is well above the legal mark-up for any ticket to the game,” CHOICE said.

The Office of Fair Trading NSW said on its website the maximum penalties for breaching ticket scalping laws were $110,000 for a corporation or $22,000 for an individual.

Fair Trading can also issue a $550 fine for any offence under the laws, including one-off breaches.

“We've previously written about the issues with ticket-reselling websites such as Viagogo – the Switzerland-based company found to have breached anti-ticket scalping legislation on many occasions,” CHOICE said.

“In 2020, the company was fined $7 million in a case brought by the ACCC.”

But it appears the issue isn't limited to offshore operators.

The Ticket Merchant's website states that the company is proudly Melbourne-based, and ASIC documents show the company has been registered to a South Melbourne location since 2019.

The company did not respond to emailed questions from CHOICE about the AFL finals tickets.

The ACCC warns customers thinking about buying tickets from a reselling website that they may be turned away from venues, not receive the ticket they paid for, or receive a fake ticket.

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