Our supporters have provided fantastic backing for our teams this season - both home and away - and we’d like to thank you all for your amazing contribution.
We also know that demand for tickets to our matches has been incredibly high and has outstripped supply. This demand has led to increased levels of ticket touting and we want to reemphasise the robust action we’re taking to stop this illegal activity which has led us to cancel almost 2,000 memberships for touting offences this season.
Taking action online
In our attempt to do everything we can to put tickets in the hands of our supporters, we’ve significantly increased the level of bot protection on our ticketing platform. This has resulted in up to 500,000 IP addresses being blocked due to suspected bot activity during the sale of tickets to silver members for our Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
We understand how frustrating it is when tickets appear on unauthorised websites at exorbitant prices. We remind all supporters that tickets for our matches are only available through official Arsenal channels and we stress how important it is that you do not buy tickets from unauthorised sites. Many of these re-sellers do not hold tickets; their posts are purely speculative and it will often be a scam.
This means that anyone buying tickets from unofficial outlets runs a very high risk of paying heavily inflated prices, receiving counterfeit or duplicated tickets and ultimately being denied access to the match. We deal with hundreds of supporters every matchday who have been sold a fake ticket or a ticket that’s been sold multiple times.
While we carry out mystery shopping to try to catch those who resell tickets online, many of the websites that advertise and sell tickets are hosted outside the UK and are therefore not within the jurisdiction of UK law. We always report these sites but there’s very little we can do to shut the sites down or help supporters who are caught out.
We urge those who have been the victim of touting to report it to us with as much evidence as possible. We follow up on every case that is reported to us which includes banning members if we can prove they are selling on tickets and reporting it to Trading Standards if a reselling website is UK-based.
Taking action on a matchday
We take action on matchdays by holding tickets for collection if we suspect they may have been sold illegally. We hold between 100-200 tickets per home game, enabling us to do the relevant ID checks. The majority of these are often not collected, and if that’s the case, the memberships are subsequently cancelled leaving more tickets for genuine supporters in the long term. Whilst we appreciate that a genuine supporter may be inconvenienced by having to collect a ticket, this is an important tool for us in identifying touted tickets.
We also perform in-person checks within the Family Enclosure at each home match. This has resulted in identifying many instances of touted tickets which has enabled us to block and cancel multiple memberships.
We also work closely with the police to tackle reselling activity that takes place on the streets surrounding Emirates Stadium. We know how frustrating it is that there are touts operating outside the stadium on a matchday and we run operations multiple times a season to deal with these. We have recently engaged an experienced anti-touting task force to step up resource levels on the ground to bolster our efforts in this area.
At away matches, we have been holding back for collection a smaller number of tickets that have previously been linked to banned members. It is our intention next season to increase the number of checks at away matches to ensure highly sought after away tickets are being used by genuine supporters.
We understand some supporters may be tempted to sell on a ticket at an inflated price, especially as we approach the final matches of the season when demand is high and tickets are being 'advertised' for high prices. With ever-increasing security measures in place, the likelihood of being caught, banned and losing your membership is very high. We strongly advise against selling and buying tickets illegally.
Thank you for your support in helping us crack down on ticket touting.
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