World Cup organisers act against online scalpers

2011-02-15 09:30

Wellington – Rugby World Cup (RWC) organisers in New Zealand said today they had taken swift action against online scalpers after tickets appeared on an internet auction website with hours of being released.

RWC spokesperson Shane Harmon said tournament organisers, with the cooperation of website TradeMe, had shut down a number of online auctions offering semi-final tickets at inflated prices.

Harmon said buyers risked having their tickets cancelled if they bought from online scalpers, while sellers faced fines of up to NZ$5 000 (R27 500) under special laws introduced in New Zealand ahead of the tournament.

“We cannot control every aspect of scalping that goes on but we do want to educate people and let them know it is very much a case of buyer beware,” he told national news agency NZPA.

The results of a ballot for RWC semi-final tickets at the September 9-October 23 tournament were released Monday morning and within hours some were being offered online for up to NZ$1 250, a NZ$150 mark-up on their face value.

Harmon said TradeMe, New Zealand’s largest online trading site, had agreed to take down the auctions and warn both sellers and potential buyers about the risks they faced trading the tickets online.

He said unwanted tickets could be sold to friends and relatives, but not through online channels and only at face value.

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