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Earlier this week, a group of politicians here in the United Kingdom called for action against next-gen console scalpers. This is a group of people who, I'm sure you know, have become increasingly unpopular over the last few weeks, making millions of dollars in profit by working together to buy up what little PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X stock there is before selling it on at massively inflated prices.
Now, a number of MPs have demanded legislation that would prevent these scalpers from using automated bots to jump ahead in queues and sweep up stock before anyone else has a chance.
Six Scottish National Party members put forth an Early Day Motion on Monday, calling for legislative proposals "prohibiting the resale of gaming consoles and computer components at prices greatly above Manufacturer's Recommended Retail Price."
Early Day Motions are essentially a way for MPs to formally draw attention to a specific subject and call for an actual debate on the matter. In other words, it's very much the early stages of what many hope will be the start of official action against scalpers, though there's obviously a long way to go yet. At the time of writing, the motion has been supported by an additional eight SNP members, two Labour MPs, and one independent, resulting in a total of 18 MPs backing the plan.
Monday's motion effectively calls on the UK Government to ban scalping outright, with a particular focus on blocking scalpers from selling on any goods purchased using automated bots - something scalping groups have been doing to get around queues.
The motion suggests that the Government bring forward legislative proposals similar to those that have already been introduced for the secondary selling of tickets, "thereby prohibiting the resale of gaming consoles and computer components at prices greatly above Manufacturer's Recommended Retail Price."
It also recommends the Government "bring forward legislative proposals making the resale of goods purchased using an automated bot an illegal activity, thereby denying unscrupulous vendors the chance to make themselves vast profits at the expense of genuine gamers and computer users, while also deterring fraudulent cybercriminal activity."
While MPs attempting to draw attention to this issue is undeniably a Good Thing, there's still a chance nothing will come of this. Of course scalpers have been in the news a lot since the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, often bragging about how many consoles they've sold on and how much profit they've made. With any luck, they've drawn enough attention to themselves that the Government will have no choice but to take action. Watch this space.
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