At its meeting on 24th July 2018 the Government agreed to support at Second Stage the Private Members' Prohibition of Above-cost Ticket Touting Bill introduced by Deputy Noel Rock and Deputy Stephen Donnelly and approved the taking of Second and Subsequent Stages of the Bill in Government time. The Government further approved the drafting of certain amendments to the Bill, including an amendment prohibiting the use of bot software to circumvent limits on the number of ticket purchases applied by event organisers. In accordance with the Government decision, the Bill's Second Stage was completed in Dáil Eireann on 21 February 2019 in Government time.
My Department has been working with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel on the preparation of amendments to this Bill which is a priority piece of legislation. While good progress has been made and it is my aim to finalise the necessary amendments as soon as possible, it is not possible to provide a precise time frame for their completion. The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel has sought legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General on a number of issues that have arisen in the course of drafting the amendments. There is a need also to consider whether and how a provision on the resale of tickets acquired through the use of automated means recently agreed by the European Parliament and Council but not yet formally adopted should be integrated into the Bill. As I have previously informed the Deputy, when the amendments are finalised, the proposed legislation will have to be submitted to the European Commission in accordance with the provisions of Directive (EU) 2015/1535 on the procedure for the provision of information on technical regulations and rules on information society services. The Directive requires Member States to postpone the adoption of any legislation within its scope for three months from the date of its submission to the Commission.
At the conclusion of Second Stage on the Sale of Tickets (Sporting and Cultural Events) Bill 2017 on 18 May 2017, a motion was approved deeming the Bill to be read a second time in nine months to allow for scrutiny by the Select Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. On 20 February 2018, Dáil Éireann agreed to refer the Bill for scrutiny to that Select Committee. The Committee examined the Bill on 21 May 2018 and published its Scrutiny Report in October 2018. In its Report, the Committee noted the broad support expressed for the principle of the Bill and recommended that, subject to the receipt of a Money Message, the Bill should proceed to Committee Stage. The Bill is currently before Dáil Éireann, Third Stage and awaits a money message. While I support the aims of the Bill and commend the Deputy for introducing it, it needs to be considered whether devoting further time to it when a Bill supported by Government is progressing would represent the best use of parliamentary time. In his contribution to the Second Stage debate on the Bill introduced by Deputies Rock and Donnelly, the Deputy himself made the point that the duplication of Bills on the same topic was not a valuable use of Dáil time.