If you've ever expected something suspicious about the rapid rate at which tickets to concerts, talks and theatre productions sell out, you're not alone.
The US congress has just passed a bill that criminalises the uses of 'ticket bots' - programs which allow resellers to purchase thousands of tickets in seconds before legitimate customers can. These tickets then get resold on sites like eBay, Gumtree and Ticketmaster Resale at crazy inflated prices;
Most recently, for example, Crowded House's Sydney Opera House tickets were selling at prices up to $1,500 when original tickets were $120-$130 each and tickets to Adele's Australian tour were being resold for over $5000 when they first retailed at $300.
On Wednesday of last week, the House of Representatives passed the Better Online Ticket Sales Act (or, ironically, BOTS Act) which now goes to the White House for President Obama's signature. Under the new law in the US, the use of ticket bots will be considered a misdemeanour, which can carry a fine of up to USD$1000 or double the profits from a crime as well as jail time.
The law goes into effect across the US in 90 days. Here's hoping Australia is not far off.