UK Parliament may consider a bill to ban console scalping

The Early Day Motion has now attracted 32 signatures…

by Oliver Barsby
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Console scalping has become a huge issue in recent months. Following the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X in November, prospective customers have been left frustrated at the lack of stock seemingly available.

Aside from logistical issues and component shortages, it also appears that scalpers are buying up next-gen consoles using bots to then resell these consoles on eBay for a profit.

However, this practice could be set to end in the UK, if a bill to ban scalping passes…

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Scalping Early Day Motion reaches 32 signatures

In mid-December, Douglas Chapman, the MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, tabled an Early Day Motion to regulate the ‘resale of gaming consoles and computer components purchased by automated bots’.

This motion now has attracted 32 signatures, with MPs from the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, Social Democratic & Labour Party, Democratic Unionist Party and Labour attaching their name to the motion, including former Labour leader candidate, Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Chapman recently gave a statement to IGN regarding the motion: “Given that experts in the cyber industry now predict the issue of scalping to grow across other important goods and services this year, we are looking at presenting a Bill in Parliament so that we can further explore legislative options to protect consumers from this unfair practice.”

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Will a scalping ban pass in the UK?

Probably not.

Early Day Motions are unlikely to result in a debate or passage of a law, but Chapman is now signalling he may put forward a Bill that could have a stronger chance of passing.

However, even if a Bill does come to fruition, there are still a number of hurdles it would face in the House of Commons – namely the Conservative Party.

Given the Conservatives command a majority in the House of Commons, holding 365 of the 650 seats, a sizeable number of Tory MPs would need to be on board for this Bill to pass. Currently, no Conservative MPs have signed Chapman’s Early Day Motion, and while a few Labour MPs have added their signature, it does not yet have a sizeable backing from the Opposition, with the majority coming from the SNP.

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Oliver Barsby