The owner of ethical ticket exchange website Scarlet Mist has announced he is to close the site due to responsibilities caring for his disabled wife.
Founder Richard Marks took to Facebook to tell customers that he was unable to continue with the project.
He wrote: “I’ve been running Scarlet Mist more or less single-handedly for the past eleven years, as a part-time hobby whilst doing my day job as a hospital doctor. It has been fun to run it, and it has been a useful service. Unfortunately my wife is now disabled and I need to devote more time to caring for her and my family”.
Launched in 2003 as a reaction to the increasing numbers of tickets being sold at high mark ups by online touts, the website allowed fans to sell unwanted gig and festival tickets at face value.
The site previously closed in 2011 because of “unacceptably high levels of fraud carried out [on the platform] by a small number of criminals”, but reopened again early the following year.
Commenting on the continued need for sites like Scarlet Mist, he added: “Ticket touts and the secondary ticket market are here to stay. There is very little political will to address it, money talks in this world”.
Meanwhile, some MPs are campaigning for tougher touting laws. Stella Creasey MP said: “Research suggests ticket touts are making £1bn a year by forcing fans to pay overinflated prices for tickets for entertainment and sports events. No one is suggesting that you shouldn’t be able to resell an unwanted ticket, but the ticket touting industry in Britain is out of control. Ticket crime has links to other serious and organised crime and the Metropolitan Police estimate it makes organised criminal networks £40 million per year.
She continued: “For fans who want to see a band, show or sporting event these scams can also mean paying over 140% of the original price of a ticket putting access to some of our nation’s great entertainment well out of the reach of many.”