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Macro Ticket Scalping Trade, Can it be Eradicated with Punishment?
  • By Son Yu-jeong, cub-reporter
  • 승인 2024.04.15 00:02
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▲ Image of ticket scalping (Source: Kukmin Ilbo)

Since March 22 this year, some amendments to the Performance Act have been implemented, making it possible to punish the illegal sale of performance tickets using macro programs. This amendment prohibits the illegal sale of performance tickets and viewing tickets using macro programs to resell them for a higher price, and imposes imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to 10 million won for violations. In addition, on February 29 this year, some amendments to the National Sports Promotion Act, which prohibits and punishes illegal sales of sports tickets, passed the plenary session of the National Assembly. On March 18, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced that it would further strengthen its policy to eradicate scalping sales of performances and sporting events.

A macro program is a program that automatically repeats designated commands on a telecommunications network when the same task needs to be performed multiple times. The ticket scalping trade, which uses these macro programs to resell performance and spectating tickets at a higher price, is increasing. As an example of this, in March of this year, the first Major League Baseball (MLB) official games, including the opening game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, were held domestically for the first time. On one online ticket trading site, tickets were being sold for over one million won. In particular, tickets for the 1st- floor table seats for the game on the 20th were being sold for over four million won, which is more than five times the original price of 700,000 won. According to the Ticket Scalper Monitoring Center of Korea Creative Content Agency, the number of reports of ticket scalping increased about six times from 359 in 2020 to 2,161 in 2023.

Before amending the Performance Act, the 'Misdemeanor Punishment Act' enacted in 1973 only allowed fines of up to 200,000 won for ticket sales directly traded on the spot, so there was a limit to the crackdown and punishment for ticket sales online. To solve this problem, the Performance Act was amended in 2023. On March 2nd, the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism established an integrated reporting website (www.culture.go.kr/singo) to facilitate the reporting of illegal tickets for performances and professional sports events, and it was exposed at the top of internet search portals. The integrated reporting website provides detailed information on the act, as well as instructions and procedures for reporting illegal ticket activities. Moreover, any reported suspicious ticket transactions are promptly shared with ticket reservation agencies for prompt action. During the peak performance season, the ministry plans to operate a period to encourage reporting of ticket scalping and provide small rewards, such as cultural gift certificates, to those who provide meaningful information about suspected ticket scalping during this period.

Currently, many performances limit the number of tickets purchased per person and verify identity on site to prevent ticket scalping. However, ticket scalpers use expediency means to avoid the identity verification process. A representative method is to use ID transfer. This is a method where the ticket seller and buyer hand over their IDs to a broker, and the broker cancels the ticket purchased by the seller and then quickly secures the canceled ticket under the buyer's ID. According to the amended law, the act of using macro programs itself is not punishable. Therefore, using macro programs during the process of booking tickets for performances is not illegal.

The most fundamental problem is that the majority of performance tickets and viewing tickets end up in the hands of professional ticket scalpers rather than visitors who want to fully enjoy the performance. There is a need to raise awareness by strengthening the punishment for ticket scalping using macro programs through the amendments to the Performance Act. However, as the methods of ticket scalping evolve, specific plans and responses from the government are needed to prevent the use of expediency. We hope that continued efforts will completely eradicate ticket scalping.

By Son Yu-jeong, cub-reporter  ujeong0202@naver.com

<저작권자 © The Campus Journal, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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