§ Mr. Fisher
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make it his policy to seek to make the touting of tickets illegal.
§ Mr. John Patten
We have no plans to make ticket touting generally illegal. The activities of ticket touts are regarded by most of us as offensive and disreputable, but they are not of such a nature as would justify legal prohibition. The tout will have paid the standard price for his tickets, so the promoter will not have lost, and his customers will generally be aware that they are paying above the ticket's face value and are willing to do so to watch the event in question. Most of the more objectionable aspects of ticket touting are already covered by the criminal law and promoters of events can take their own steps to deter touting; for example the organisers of the Ryder cup, by attaching conditions to tickets were able to use the force of the criminal and civil law to make ticket touting very difficult.
We are considering separately Lord Justice Taylor's recommendations to meet the specific problem of ticket touting at football matches.