An undercover investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Star has revealed a secret scalping programme within ticketing site Ticketmaster.

Journalists from the publications attended Ticket Summit 2018, and posed as scalpers while holding hidden cameras.

They were pitched on Ticketmaster’s professional reseller programme, which sees the company turning a blind eye to scalpers who use ticket-buying bots and fake identities to snatch tickets, then resell for inflated prices.

That’s because these higher priced tickets include extra fees for Ticketmaster, who profit further from fans being forced to pay extortionate prices for tickets.

“I have brokers that have literally a couple of hundred accounts,” one sales representative said. “It’s not something that we look at or report.”

A seminar closed to the media saw Ticketmaster discussing TradeDesk, a web-based inventory management system for scalpers. It allows scalpers to upload large quantities of tickets from Ticketmaster and quickly list them for resale.

Based on their assessment of fan demand, scalpers can hike or drop prices on huge numbers of tickets at the click of a button. TradeDesk is only available to those who submit a registration request to TicketMaster, and is not open to the public.

CBC News also says it obtained a copy of Ticketmaster’s official reseller handbook, which details a reward system for scalpers. As scalpers hit milestones such as $500,000 or $1 million in annual sales, Ticketmaster will knock a percentage point off its fees.

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