Scalpers beware: Rio to slap fines on some resold tickets
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — In an attempt to crack down on ticket scalping, Brazilian organizers of the 2016 Olympics will impose large fines on anyone involved in the resale of tickets distributed by national Olympic committees.
Ticket scalping occurs at most Olympics and was a problem at last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
National Olympic committees receive tickets, some of which are sold legally and wind up in package deals.
Organizers of the Rio de Janeiro Games said Wednesday that fines for resale of those tickets could reach 100 times the ticket’s face value.
“The fines are an additional measure to reinforce the integrity of the ticketing program,” the Rio organizing committee said in a statement.
The policy applies only to tickets distributed by national Olympic committees. Tickets sold to the public through websites or other means are not included, although they are subject to Brazilian law.
Selling tickets at above face value is illegal in Brazil.
A top official of the ticketing partner of football’s world governing body FIFA was arrested after the World Cup and charged in an alleged ticket-scalping scheme.
The cheapest ticket for the Rio Games is 40 Brazilian Reals (about $15 at the current exchange rate). The most expensive ticket will be 4,600 Brazilian reals (about $1,800) for the opening ceremony.
Rio organizers have said that 7.5 million tickets will be issued for the games. Half of them will be priced under $30.
Rio officials said using fines to deter scalping was a first for any Olympics.
Officials may offer more details Thursday when they also announce distribution plans for tickets going to the general public.
Stephen Wade on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP