Russia imposes heavy fines to curb Olympic touts

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 03, 2013 08:40 hrs

Moscow, Jan 3 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law imposing heavy fines on ticket touting for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Anyone who sells Sochi Olympics tickets above their face value will be fined up to a million rubles ($33,000), and the new federal law also imposes price control on local hotels during the Olympics, the RIA Novosti news agency reports.

The Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, which features 98 medal events under the motto of "Hot. Cool. Yours," is slated Feb 7-23.

Selling an Olympic or Paralympic ticket at a price higher than the face value, including those for the opening and closing ceremonies, would invite a fine amounting to 10 times the face value for individuals, or 20 times if the tout is an official. Enterprises that scalp tickets may be temporarily shut down.

The law also enables the federal government to regulate prices for hotel services in the Krasnodar Region, which includes Sochi, from September 2012 till July 2014.

The government announced last month that hotel rates can't exceed $450 for the Games period. The bill was passed by both houses of parliament last month.

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