At its meeting on 24 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 progress of the Bill has been slower than I would have wished for a number of reasons – the priority given by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to Brexit-related legislation in the first quarter of this year; the case on UK ticket resale provisions referred to the EFTA Court; and the provision on the resale of tickets acquired through the use of bots recently agreed by the European Parliament and Council. 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.
I would like to assure the Deputy that this is at the top of my priority list and my Department, together with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, are working as speedily as possible to ensure the earliest possible delivery of this legislation.