29 Jul 2020 • 10 min read
29 Jul 2020 • 10 min read
Did you know that 4 out of 5 event tickets are purchased by bots every day?
The entertainment industry has a lot of vulnerabilities. One of them is ticket scalping. This type of bot attack allows online platforms to acquire a large number of tickets and resell them at higher prices.
Unregulated price inflation leads to customer complaints. Complaints eventually lead to reputation loss and public relations crises. To understand the nature of ticket scalping, let’s take a closer look at it.
Ticket scalping (aka ticket touting or ticket reselling) is an example of a sophisticated bot attack. It is aimed at the instant mass acquisition of tickets to resell them at a higher price and generate a profit.
Resellers use scalping bots (aka ticket bots) to acquire tickets in large amounts. After that, they resell them with inflated prices. This leaves customers with no choice but to buy them at wild costs.
Ticketing industry characteristics that appeal to scalping bots:
The process of ticket scalping
The legitimacy of the ticket scalping situation is different across the world. Every country implements its policies to handle scalpers.
In the US, different states apply different policies o manage scalpers and resellers.
New York the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law limits the ticket's reselling price to $5 or 10% (whichever is greater) of the ticket's face value.
In New Jersey, this limit goes to $3 or 20% of the ticket price (whichever is greater). (2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes § 56:8-26 – 56:8-38)
Delaware prohibits reselling resell tickets at a higher price than their face value on the day before or during an event.
In Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Arkansas, New Mexico reselling tickets for more than their face value is illegal. (Hawaii Revenue Statute § 440-17, Indiana Code § 25-9-1-26, Maryland Code § 43-318, Arkansas Code § 5-63-201, New Mexico Statutes § 30-46-1)
In California, Louisiana, and North Carolina, ticket scalping is illegal without documented permission from the venue owner or operator(California Policy Center § 346, Louisiana Revised Statutes § 4-1, North Carolina General Statutes § 14‑344)
In Illinois, selling tickets anywhere except the box office of the venue is prohibited. (720 Illinois Compiled Statutes 375 § 1)
Quebec’s Bill 25 prohibits brokers from reselling a ticket at a higher price than its face value. To resell tickets they need to receive documented permission from the original vendor.
In Ontario, reselling tickets above the face value is completely illegal due to the Ticket Speculation Act. and even punishable.
In Australia, the New South Wales government prohibits scalpers to resell tickets at a price 10% higher than the face value of the ticket.
Ticket scalping is not only used by reselling platforms. Different individuals could use scalping bots depending on their needs.
They use bots to scrape event data and ticket prices, continuously scan seat map inventories for newly released or premium seats, and instantly purchase available tickets to resell them.
More details here: The economics of ticket scalping
Detecting ticket scalping bots is hard. Nowadays they appear to be very sophisticated.
To detect bots on your website before the tickets were scalped you need anti-scalping bots solutions.
To obtain tickets scalping bots need to pass several layers of gateways, these are:
Deploying human verification to these sensitive gateways can detect and filter out these automated programs.
Free CAPTCHA (ReCAPTCHA)
An advanced AI-based CAPTCHA ( GeeTest CAPTCHA - the leading enterprise-grade verification solution)
Full-stack bot management solution
Why do you need to take measures to prevent scalping bots?
This is why it is imperative to take measures and stop scalpers and resellers from mass purchasing your tickets. Analyze your needs and options and take serious measures right now.
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