3 Jan 2013

Heavy penalties await Sochi ticket touts

6:33 am on 3 January 2013

President Vladimir Putin of Russia has signed a new law imposing heavy fines for ticket touts at the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that anyone caught selling tickets above their face value faces a fine of up to one million roubles ($US32,700).

For low-level scalping, the fine could be up to 10 times the ticket's price for individuals or 20 times for a Games official. Companies scalping tickets could be shut down.

Ticket prices for all events at the 2014 Games will be set by the International Olympic Committee.

The new law also regulates hotel prices in the region during the Games, prohibiting owners charging more than the state-imposed fee for each category.

The Sochi Games are a prestige project for Russia, but illegal ticket sales have plagued most major sporting and entertainment events for years.