In the race to the bottom of humanity, only one kind of person is currently ahead of online influencers and showbiz journalists – ticket scalpers.

What is scalping? Also known as ticket resale or ticket touting, it is the act of reselling tickets for events that are bought from licensed sellers and then sold for another price, usually vastly inflated depending on demand, a price which tends to vary as the event date approaches.


This practice is not illegal in many states. The laws vary from state to state, and the majority of US states do not have laws in place to limit the value placed on the resale amount of event tickets. There is no federal law over this. In the UK, it is illegal to use automated software to buy up vast swathes of tickets upon release online.

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) took the decision to use Ticketmaster to arrange seat bookings this year. Ticketmaster have, for many years, made all sorts of noises about anti-scalping efforts. However Ticketmaster is also the home of the Ticketmaster ticket resale scheme – the Verified Resale program – that allows anyone to sell tickets on their platform at any price they choose. So kind of bidding against themselves, there.

Whatever. The scalpers are in town and they have had a field day with TIFF tickets. Variety have run an article on the issue, stating that tickets for some films are going for more than ten times their face value. Social media posts from would-be festival goers echo this:

Tickets for Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins are reportedly both going for up to $306 U.S. Did these people not see Thor: Love and Thunder? Public tickets have been selling out in as little as three minutes with the tickets then reappearing at inflated prices within five minutes, clearly indicating automated activity.

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