An IT expert dubbed the ‘king of ticket touts’ after making millions by selling overpriced tickets for gigs and other events has bought a £1million five-bedroom mansion with the proceeds.
Andrew Newman’s identity was unveiled when Viagogo was forced by a court order to name the biggest sellers on its books.
His new countryside home in West Lothian, bought in October last year, includes a triple car garage, a heated balcony, three acres of garden, and a stable block with a separate paddock.
Andrew Newman bought this mansion in October last year after earning millions from selling tickets on Viagogo. Image undated
The property includes this spectacular set-piece kitchen on the downstairs floor
Claire Turnham MBE, who was instrumental in campaigning for Viagogo to reveal its biggest earners, told the Daily Record: ‘Clearly there’s a lot of money to be made from fleecing people via industrial scale ticket touting.
‘To see such vast displays of wealth is galling and stomach turning to those who have suffered because of it.’
In many cases Mr Newman sold tickets for hundreds or pounds more than their original value.
Mr Newman’s fiancée, Melanie Rein, has boasted about their luxury lifestyle on Facebook.
This includes how her future husband wooed her by buying ringside tickets for WWE wrestling shows before going on a luxury break to Dubai.
Viagogo had to publish the names and address of touts who sold more than 100 tickets a year by last Friday.
Andrew Newman’s identity was unveiled when Viagogo was forced by a court order to name the biggest sellers on its books. He is seen with his fiancee, Melanie Rein
Another view of the kitchen in Mr Newman’s new home, which appears to include three ovens
Viagogo said it had already met the deadline and is ‘now compliant’.
In November, the UK Competition and Markets Authority told the Switzerland-based company it must overhaul the way it does business to protect consumers under a High Court order.
Under the order, Viagogo must also warn buyers if the tickets are subject to a ban on resale that might lead to them being turned away at the door, and publish information such as the face value of tickets and the seat number.
It must also not give misleading information about the availability and popularity of tickets, which the CMA said had the potential to lead to customers rushing into making a buying decision or making the wrong choice.
The order will also make it easier for consumers to get their money back under Viagogo’s guarantee when things go wrong and ensure that the site does not repeat historic failures to make its customers aware of the face value of tickets, the watchdog said.
One of the bathrooms inside the house, complete with a walk-in shower and a huge bathtub
The five-bedroom house includes a triple car garage, a heated balcony, three acres of garden, and a stable block with a separate paddock
CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: ‘From midnight tonight, several major secondary ticketing websites, including Viagogo, must have made changes to comply with consumer protection law.
‘This follows CMA enforcement action and is an important milestone in ensuring people know what they are getting before buying from a resale site.
‘Reviews will now take place so we can be clear they are doing everything expected of them. We will not hesitate to take further action if any of the sites fail to meet their obligations.’
The CMA began enforcement action against four secondary ticketing websites last November, with three of them – Stub Hub, GETMEIN! and Seatwave – committing to change their business practices.
Viagogo said: ‘We are a marketplace and don’t buy or sell tickets. Viagago provides a platform for third party sellers to sell tickets to event goers.
‘Viagogo does not set ticket prices, sellers set their own prices, which may be above or below the original face value.
‘The tickets sold on Viagogo’s platform are genuine tickets that have been sold on by the original ticket purchaser in good faith.’