Bleedin\’ Idiots

The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act makes it a criminal offence, punishable by fines of up to £20,000, to sell London 2012 tickets on the black market.

Dear Lord, are they really that damn stupid?

Ticket touts appear because the official price of the ticket is different from the market clearing price of the same ticket.

The only way you don\’t get touts is if the bureaucrats, miraculously, have managed to set the price at the market clearing price.

And of course, we\’ve got the finest, cleverest, most courageous, bureaucrats in the world so of course they\’ve set prices at the market clearing price, haven\’t they?

Snort. The very fact that they\’ve imposed this legislation means that they know they\’ve fucked up, doesn\’t it?

14 comments on “Bleedin\’ Idiots

  1. This was always going to be the outcome of trying to make the games accessible to teh poor. Tell someone they can buy a ticket at a knock-down price, they might get lucky in the lottery and get one at that price. Then, when they find they can sell it for ten times its face value, they might consider that it’s worth more to them in cash than it is to attend.

    If London2012 had just made their objective revenue-raising, all of this nonsense could have been avoided.

  2. I have to say I agree with making the tickets accessible to all: it should simply have been made abundantly clear that they were non-transferable, and that this lack of transferability would be enforced. Wimbledon do this with a large slug of their tickets every year, without any issues

  3. Although a bleeding-heart Leftie, who looks back to the Cold War with nostalgia, I cannot see what’s the matter with ticket touts.They provide a service of sorts although some people I know bought touted tickets for a highly racist football match abroad and ended up in the wrong part of the crow d.But were rescued by the police for sticking out like sore thumbs.
    There is a story that frightening looking geezers would take tickets off touts outside the match to see if they’re genuine and then walk off with them: nothing the tout could do.
    I cannot see how old fashioned touts could have
    accumulated enough Olympic tickets to do business with the random allocation system.
    But it is not touts theyre getting at here is it?

  4. The very fact that they’ve imposed this legislation means that they know they’ve fucked up, doesn’t it?

    Do they hell. The economics lesson here will have passed them by completely, this will have been done out of some woolly, insincere concern for “fairness” and “affordability” and “ordinary people”.

  5. This is nonsense… nobody fucked anything up. Do you think someone honestly thought that the arse-end of the tickets for the 100m finals wouldn’t sell if they were more than £25?

    Whether or not you approve, the object of the strategy was to enable lots of people, irrespective of their financial means, to get some tickets. It worked. They have sold, pretty much, everything. They have raised the ticket revenue that they intended to raise.

    No, they didn’t raise the maximum ticket revenue they could have raised.. but they never intended to.. so that they didn’t is not evidence of anybody fucking anything up.

    Whether we should then let people who got tickets flog them on at a profit is, of course, a different matter entirely. On one hand, if the idea is not to simply fill the venue with the people able to pay the most for the tickets.. then we can see why we might try to defend the ‘integrity’ of the strategy. On the other, if someone was minded to offer me £5k for my Beach Volleyball tickets, I’d rather like the right to accept.

  6. Um, not sure about this Tim. You seem to be confusing “the market clearing price” with “the maximal possible market price”, implying that a business should charge the maximum possible for a product. That’s not how prices work is it?

    I mean, the government are now embarking on a scheme with beer where they prove that, like tobacco, consumers are prepared to pay much more than the market price, the difference going into the State treasury. But if cider is selling for a pound per gallon, that’s the market price, not the five pounds per gallon that customers will grudgingly pay when the price is artificially hiked up.

    Different things.

  7. If they had sold tickets on the basis of sealed bids, the highest bid being given tickets first, then the poor taxpayers would not have had money forceably taken off them.

    My girlie cousin applied for tickets and got a pair for the heats of the Greco-Roman wrestling…. Hmmm.. Doesn’t seem right that she should either be forced to see something which is of no intrerest, or just forfeit her money.

  8. ‘Thought Gang’, I would offer you £5k for your Beach Volley Ball ticket but only if you can promise that Brazil will be in the finals and that you can persuade my wife to let me go!

  9. I am endeavouring to find a deeply-buried underground bunker with neither television nor Internet for the duration of the whole ghastly, boring spectacle.

  10. Nautical Nick

    Am I missing a note of sarcasm?

    I’ve actually heard people complaining that they only got tickets for things they’re not all that interested in. They would be things that, despite not being interested in, those people voluntarily and specifically applied for tickets for. The only people with Greco Roman wrestling tickets are those people who applied for Greco Roman wrestling tickets.

  11. The Thought Gang,

    I’ve actually heard people complaining that they only got tickets for things they’re not all that interested in. They would be things that, despite not being interested in, those people voluntarily and specifically applied for tickets for. The only people with Greco Roman wrestling tickets are those people who applied for Greco Roman wrestling tickets.

    Going to the Olympics is a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses thing. People wanted tickets for something. They’d probably have really liked the 100m final, but they’ll settle for anything so long as they can tell their friends about it.

    You just have to look at how much interest there is in rowing, swimming or even athletics most of the time.

  12. I mean, the government are now embarking on a scheme with beer where they prove that, like tobacco, consumers are prepared to pay much more than the market price, the difference going into the State treasury.

    You’re normally right, but this time you’re wrong – with minimum pricing (as opposed to higher taxation) the difference goes onto Tesco and Heineken’s profits.

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