Bill Criminalizing Scalping Spurred On By Next-Gen Game System Shortages

PlayStation 5 (Photo Courtesy of Playstation)

PlayStation 5 (Photo Courtesy of Playstation)

Member of British parliament Douglas Chapman is leading lawmakers aiming to criminalize scalping after Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X/S systems started being bought in bulk by online scalpers hoping to resell the systems for a profit.

Chapman told Sky News, “We’ve proposed that a similar legislative process be brought forward to ensure that consumers can purchase gaming consoles and computer components at no more than the manufacturers’ recommended price, and that resale of goods purchased by automated bots be made illegal.”

“It seems to me a total scam,” said Chapman. Retailers have added countermeasures to slow mass-buying scalpers like extra verifications against bots and only allowing one system to be sold to one address, but scalpers are still buying a large percentage of the game systems sold new today.

Chapman, member of the minority Scottish National Party, does not expect his sweeping bill will be made law, but rather he hopes this is the first step toward the government “taking responsibility” on mass-purchase scalping.

Chapman’s original motion in Early Day Parliament had earned support from Labour, DUP, the SNP and Cyrmu party members. Minister of state for digital and culture Caroline Dineage later said, “Officials are discussing this issue with the trade association for the video games industry.”

Dineage continued, “We know that bulk purchasing through automated bots is a concern for some of their members who we understand are currently looking at any further actions they can take to prevent these behaviors and are working with their retailers to improve experiences for customers.”

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