The Ticket Sales Act protects Saskatchewan consumers by regulating ticket sales to entertainment and sporting events so that ticket resellers cannot acquire tickets to these events before they go on sale to the public, and so that"local" residents have the first chance to buy the tickets.
Who does it apply to
The Act applies only to musical, dramatic and sports events held at the 7 major event centres in Saskatchewan: Casino Regina, Casino Moose Jaw, Credit Union Centre, Evraz Place, Mosaic Stadium, Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts (Conexus Arts Centre), and TCU Place. This does not include fundraising and educational events.
The First Hour of Sales Rule
For concerts and dramatic events, the primary seller can sell tickets only to persons in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, North Dakota and Montana (these jurisdictions share a border with Saskatchewan) until the end of the first hour of sales following the initial release of tickets for sale to the general public.
For sporting events, the primary seller can sell tickets only to persons living in Canada until the end of the first hour of sales following the initial release of tickets for sale to the general public.
This rule does not apply if the purchaser must go to the event venue to obtain the tickets. This includes paperless tickets, and "will call" tickets which must be picked up at the venue itself or elsewhere in Saskatchewan.
The primary seller cannot advertise or post a link on their Internet website to secondary ticket sellers (also known as "ticket resellers"), on any promotional material or as part of any sale of tickets.
Legitimate ticket exchanges are exempt from this advertising restriction, but only for consumer-to-consumer sales, and only if the advertising or link is sanctioned by the artist, promoter, sports team or sports league involved.
Selling of Tickets obtained from a Primary Seller (The 48 Hour Rule)
No person or secondary seller shall resell, advertise or list for resale, in any manner, any tickets to an entertainment or sporting event at one of the 7 major event centres in Saskatchewan until at least 48 hours after the tickets to the same event were made available to the general public by a primary seller.
After 48 hours, the legislation does NOT prohibit advertising or the reselling of tickets, nor does it place any controls on the price for which tickets can be resold.
See the Exemption below.
Possession of Ticket before Offering for Sale Rule
No person shall sell, advertise or list for sale, in any manner, any tickets to an event in Saskatchewan unless the tickets are in the person's possession or control.
See the Exemption below.
Use of computer Software
The Act makes it illegal to use computer software to automatically buy tickets. No person shall use or sell software to avoid or defeat any of the following on a ticket seller's Internet website:
- a security measure;
- an access control system; or
- a control or measure that is used to ensure an equitable ticket buying process.
See the Exemption below.
Exemptions from the Act
- Tour operators who provide packaged tours are exempt from the 48 hour rule. A "packaged tour" means the provision of a ticket, plus another service connected with the event (e.g., transportation, accommodations or meals).
- Tour operators who provide packaged tours are exempt from the requirement to have physical possession of the tickets before they are sold.
- The Saskatchewan Roughriders are exempt from all provisions in the Act with respect to their football operations. However, this exemption does not allow the Roughriders to put on a concert or other event that is not related to football unless they comply with the legislation.
- Grey Cup ticket allocation is exempt because tickets are allocated to teams across the country before they are printed.
- Major national and international sporting events are exempt because tickets will be sold worldwide. Major national or regional musical events are also exempt for the same reason.
- The Act does not apply to persons using software to obtain tickets for an event to be held at a location other than a prescribed event centre.
Remedies and Sanctions
A consumer seeking a court injunction, an order of specific performance, compensation for a loss of an amount greater than $20,000, or a class action, must commence the action in the Court of Queen's Bench. A consumer who has suffered a loss as a result of a contravention of the Act may commence an action in Small Claims Court if the loss is $20,000 or less.
The court may:
- order restitution of any money or other consideration given by the consumer;
- grant an injunction restraining the person from continuing to contravene the provision;
- make an order of specific performance against the person;
- make any other order the court considers appropriate; or
- award the consumer damages in the amount of any loss suffered because of the contravention, including exemplary or punitive damages.
If convicted of a first offence, individuals can be fined up to $5,000, or imprisoned for up to one year, or both; and companies can be fined up to $10,000. For each subsequent offence the penalty for individuals is a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to one year, or both; and a fine of up to $500,000 for companies.
"consumer" means an individual who participates, as a purchaser, in a transaction involving the sale of a ticket.
"primary seller" means a person, other than a secondary seller, who is engaged in the business of making tickets available for sale, and includes the owner of the place to which a ticket provides admission, the promoter of the event occurring at that place, and any agent or broker of those persons. Any other person in the business of reselling tickets is a secondary seller.
"ticket" means any card, pass, paper, document or thing, whether in electronic form or otherwise, that, on presentation, entitles the holder to admission to an event.
"secondary seller" means a person, or any agent or broker of that person, who is engaged in the business of making available for sale tickets that have been acquired in any manner and by any person from or through a primary seller.