LONDON, April 22 (Xinhua) -- A crackdown on ticket touts using robots to rip off fans looking for sporting, pop concert or theater tickets was announced Sunday by Margot James, Britain's minister for digital and the creative industries.
Government action follows reports that tickets for hit West End musical "Hamilton" were advertised on a secondary ticketing site for over 8,1000 U.S. dollars. The normal price range is 52 U.S. dollars to best seats at 105 U.S. dollars.
The musical recently scooped seven Olivier awards after receiving a record number of nominations for what are London theaterland's top "Oscars".
Pop stars Ed Sheeran and Adele are among the iconic names in the music industry to campaign against fans being ripped off by touts selling tickets at greatly inflated prices.
A new law, to be presented this week to the British parliament, will see touts using automated software to bulk buy tickets for resale on secondary ticketing sites at inflated prices face unlimited fines.
It will ban ticket touts from using "bots" to dodge security measures and snap up more tickets than allowed by event organizers.
Margot James said: "I'm determined to make sure everyone has the chance to see their favorite stars at a fair price. This week we will reach the final stage in our fight to beat rip-off ticket touts using bots to buy huge numbers of tickets only to sell them on at massively over-inflated prices."
Adam Webb, campaign manager FanFair Alliance, said: "This new legislation is important, and we need it to be activated and enforced. By reducing the means of dedicated touts to bulk harvest tickets, the government can help recalibrate the live music market and give fans a better opportunity to buy tickets at a price the artist sets.
Michael Dugher, UK Music chief executive, said: "We need the law to be fully enforced to protect music fans from being ripped off."