New web domain "could save millions" in ticket fraud

A new company says it could save the ticketing industry millions of pounds in fraud if its bid for the .tickets domain name is successful.

Dot Tickets Organisation
Dot Tickets Organisation

Dot Tickets Organisation applied for the domain name .tickets after the internet's governing body ICANN de-regulated the internet naming system, allowing new names to be created.

Four other parties have applied to operate the domain name. If Dot Ticket Organisation's bid is approved, any venue or event organiser could apply to use the .tickets web address provided it adheres to strict anti-fraud rules.

The company was started by a group of event production professionals in March and is headed by chief executive Steve Machin, founding director of live entertainment consultancy Stormcrowd.

Andy Lenthall, general manager of the Production Services Association, is also working on the bid. He told Event: "At the moment, every legitimate ticket seller is trying to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters, but everyone's doing it in a different way. If you add up all of the resources and all the money that those organisations spend, it's a lot.

"We've invested money in trying to sidestep the fraudsters, by closing the gate and putting ticketing in a castle on a hill with a moat around it. Research from the National Fraud Authority indicates that ticket fraud is worth more than £180 million a year, so we're talking a saving of millions. The investment we've had to make in this is probably going to be a tiny fraction of that."

He added: "Each sector that sells tickets has its own trade body, which has ideas about how to beat fraud. We intend to work with those trade bodies to write up rules of entry before you buy a domain."

If its bid is approved, Dot Tickets Organisation will also campaign for consumer education on ticket fraud.

ICANN has received around 2,000 applications for new domain names and is considering applications in batches of 500. The first results will be announced in the coming months but it could be years before all the winning bids are revealed.

As reported in Event, London venues could get their own geographic domain name thanks to a bid from London and Partners.

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