National / Politics

Lower House OKs bill banning ticket scalping ahead of Tokyo Olympics

JIJI

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to penalize the resale of tickets for sports and concert events at higher prices, including via the internet.

At a Lower House plenary session, the ban on the practice of scalping was approved by a unanimous vote.

The bill was sent to the Upper House the same day and is expected to be enacted during the ongoing extraordinary session of the Diet, scheduled to wrap up on Monday.

Once enacted, the law will come into force six months after its promulgation to allow time to inform the public.

Aimed at addressing the problem of scalping ahead of the start of ticket sales for the 2020 Games next spring, the bill was drawn up by a cross-party group of lawmakers, including members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its junior coalition partner, Komeito, and the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

The bill seeks to ban the reselling of tickets for profit, or selling tickets at a price higher than their regular price.

Offenders could be punished with a maximum prison term of one year or a fine of up to ¥1 million, or both.

The bill would not only prohibit ticket reselling at high prices around event venues, but also ban similar practices on the internet in order to prevent resale businesses from buying up tickets.

At present, many prefectures have their own ordinances banning ticket resales, mainly around event venues, but these do not include online reselling.