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UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Act 2020

Ticket touting

Section 2: Ban on ticket touting

7.This section makes it an offence to tout Championship tickets (the “touting offence”). A Championship ticket is defined in section 1(1) as any ticket, card, electronic device or other thing which entitles an individual to attend an event held as part of the Championship.

8.Subsection (2) sets out what is meant by touting a Championship ticket. A person touts a Championship ticket if that person does any of the acts mentioned in subsection (3) in connection with the selling of a Championship ticket for more than its face value or with a view to making a profit. Note that it is the person disposing of the ticket who must be aiming to make a profit from it, even if the act which constitutes the offence is carried out by someone else. For example, an advertiser may commit an offence by advertising the sale of tickets by a person where that person is making a profit from the ticket sales. Whether or not the advertiser makes a profit from selling advertising space to the ticket seller is irrelevant. Subsection (7) makes this clear.

9.Subsection (3) lists various activities relating to selling or trading tickets or otherwise dealing in ticket sales. These include selling or offering to sell a Championship ticket, exposing a Championship ticket for sale or advertising such a ticket, making a ticket available for sale by another person, or giving away a ticket where that is conditional upon the payment of a booking fee or other charge or the acquisition of some other goods or services. These are all acts that may constitute a touting offence under subsection (2).

10.Subsection (4) gives UEFA the power to sell or deal with tickets in ways which would otherwise be considered touting, provided they do not do so for more than the ticket’s face value.

11.The Act cannot make touting activity an offence in other jurisdictions but subsection (5) ensures that persons who engage in touting in places outwith Scotland (e.g. by using computer systems located in another country for internet sales) will commit an offence under Scots law.

12.Subsection (6) makes it clear that a booking fee or other charge is counted as part of the amount paid for a Championship ticket for the purposes of determining whether or not a touting offence has been committed (i.e. in determining whether a sale is for an amount above face value). Similarly, the value of anything acquired along with the ticket will count towards the amount paid for the ticket (for example, if a small item is sold at an inflated price and the buyer gets a free ticket with the item then that sale and the price paid could be treated as a sale of a Championship ticket for that price). Finally, if a ticket is exchanged rather than sold for money the value of the thing exchanged may be counted as the price paid for the ticket.

Section 3: Exception for charity auctions

13.This section provides an exception from the touting offence where a Championship ticket is sold in an auction either by a charity directly or by another person who gives the proceeds of the sale to a charity. Such sales may therefore take place for a price that is in excess of the face value of the ticket, or for more than the charity or other person who sells the ticket acquired it for.

14.Subsections (2) and (3) set out which organisations are deemed to be charities for the purposes of the exception. These are bodies registered in the Scottish Charity Register, or bodies which are based in any territory outwith Scotland, provided that they are registered in a register corresponding to the Scottish Charity Register. Subsection (4) provides that if there is no such register in the territory where the body is established then the body may qualify for the exception if its purposes consist only of one or more of the charitable purposes set out in section 7(2) of the Charities and Trustee Investments (Scotland) Act 2005 and the body provides public benefit within the meaning given by section 8 of that Act.

Section 4: Exception for certain advertisers etc.

15.This section provides an exception for advertisers from committing a touting offence if the sale of the ticket would be for above the face value of the ticket or with a view to making a profit but the advertiser does not and could not reasonably be expected to know that fact. If, for example, a newspaper advert for Championship tickets displayed a sale price that was obviously in vast excess of the normal face value of tickets to comparable sporting events, the publication that carried that advert could not argue that it could not reasonably have known that the sales were for above face value. In which case the advertising publication would be committing a touting offence.

Section 5: Provision of electronic facilities

16.This section allows the Scottish Ministers to make regulations to determine circumstances in which provision of the internet or other electronic media may or may not constitute a touting offence: for instance, mere conduit, caching, and hosting.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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