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State Govt moves against AFL finals scalpers

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The AFL finals in Adelaide will be declared major events in an effort to stop scalpers ripping off fans.

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Tourism Minister Leon Bignell says the declaration will be made on Wednesday ahead of the first game on September 7, when the Adelaide Crows play Greater Western Sydney.

It will also apply to the clash on September 9 between Port Adelaide and the West Coast Eagles.

Under the Major Events Act a ticket for a declared event cannot be sold at a price higher than 10 per cent above the face value with scalpers facing a maximum fine of $25,000.

However, Bignell says the reality of scalping is being over-hyped with tickets still available for some categories at both games.

“These images that people have of someone coming in and standing out the front selling a ticket for $500 doesn’t match up with the reality,” Bignell told ABC radio.

Opposition sport spokesman Tim Whetstone said the government should have declared the finals major events sooner as scalpers were already trying to resell tickets with as much as a 300 per cent mark-up.

“Tickets to the Adelaide and Port Adelaide finals at Adelaide Oval are the hottest tickets in town yet the government has again failed to protect ordinary South Australians from scalpers,” Whetstone said.

SA Greens MP Tammy Franks said the government needed to look at better regulation for the resale of tickets, describing the major events legislation as a “19th century solution to a 21st century problem”.

She said Bignell’s foreshadowed declaration was “too little, too late”, and only came in response to “a little grilling on a few radio programs this morning”.

“The Major Events Act is not even fit for purpose to provide true protections against ticket scalping,” she said. “It has only been announced for nine ticketed events since 2012 and, even then, the ticket scalping protection is usually limited to a physical exclusion zone around the Adelaide Oval itself.

“That physical zone can be avoided if a scalper steps just across the road to War Memorial Drive. But even this farcical approach totally misses the mark on online resales. Little wonder then that not a single prosecution has been made under the 2012 Act, which is rarely used, largely unenforced and irrelevant to the real life operations of the rorters.

“The main game here is online rorts and dodgy dealings.”

– with AAP

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