/ Travel & Leisure

Watch out for touts flogging invalid Wimbledon tickets

Break out the strawberries and cream, it’s day one of the British institution that is Wimbledon. Tempted to head to The Championships this year? Don’t get caught out by unauthorised tickets.

Wimbledon officials have issued a warning that any match tickets bought from unauthorised sellers will be invalidated. So how can you be sure your ticket is the genuine article?

Going against the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club’s (AELTC) rules, ticket touts are re-selling tickets online, in some cases for almost 10 times their face value.

Regular tickets to Wimbledon are not allowed to be traded or sold-on, but this doesn’t seem to be stopping the touts.

We’ve spotted sellers on Ebay and Gumtree flogging on tickets at eye watering prices – and brazenly in the face of the rules.

One seller, offering two tickets to the women’s semi-final for £1,500, said the tickets would ‘definitely’ guarantee entry.

And another with a ticket to Court number one on 7 July said: ‘It’s not a debenture ticket, but yes I can guarantee entry with the ticket.’

Smashing the touts

So how do you make sure the tickets you get are completely above board and will get you in?

First, there are four main ways to obtain tickets for The Championships: the public ballot, Ticketmaster, hospitality and the famous Wimbledon queue.

Second, only debenture tickets are allowed to be resold and traded freely. So if you’re looking at secondary ticket sites and you don’t see ‘debenture’ clearly written on the ticket, it’s not authorised for re-sale and could be invalidated at the gates.

Websites like Viagogo, StubHub and Go Sports Tickets all currently have debenture tickets listed.

A spokeswoman the for All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) – the organisation behind the Wimbledon tournament – said:

‘Debenture tickets are the only Wimbledon tickets which are freely tradeable This is the legal right that comes with purchasing a debenture and is judged to be fair value for the long-term investment that debenture holders contribute towards The Championships.’

Have you had any luck with the Wimbledon ballot this year? Let us know if you’ll be heading to the tournament or watching from home – if you’re fed up with the World Cup then it could be just the tonic!

And, most importantly, have you spotted any tickets being re-sold online?


I love Wimbledon, been lucky enough to go to the last 11 tournaments, but looks like I’ll be missing this year 🙁 Not surprised to see touts chancing it online, but am stunned to see their ‘guarantees’ of getting in. Every time I’ve been I’ve required photo ID and the card I paid with.

That must be what the extra cost goes to ,paying thesecuirty guards to just let yo through!

And they mean it ..
Anti-tout Measures

In September 1990 measures were introduced to minimise the black market sale of tickets:

– To prevent tickets destined for tennis fans from being redirected to the highest bidder

– To curb the black market in Wimbledon tickets, particularly with regard to unofficial corporate hospitality companies who acquire tickets from this source

– Under these conditions, all Wimbledon tickets, apart from Debentures (which are clearly marked), will only be valid if sold either by The All England Lawn Tennis Club or by one of its licensed and authorised agents. Unauthorised sale or transfer of tickets immediately invalidates them

– The AELTC takes active steps to monitor and control sales including those made via shops and internet sites

– Sellers of non-Debenture tickets will be contacted and sellers found to be in breach of the AELTC ticket policy may be banned from receiving tickets in the future as well as subject to legal action

– Where the details of tickets being advertised for sale are known, the tickets are cancelled meaning the purchaser will not gain entry to The Championships.

I don’t think they have this problem at the Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament in August – Britain’s biggest tennis tournament [after Wimbledon]. It possibly doesn’t attract the entire elite of the international tennis circuit but it’s a good week in the sunshine on the west-facing coast of Norfolk.