Olympic ticket-holders warned over £20k resale fines

The deadline to apply for tickets for the 2012 Olympics was extended in the early hours of this morning after thousands of last-minute buyers were met with a holding page.

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Sports fans hoping to bag one or more of the 6.6 million tickets found themselves waiting for some time as the website, www.tickets.london2012.com, struggled to cope with the high demand, and were eventually faced with a message that read: "Sorry, we cannot process your request. Please try again later."

A spokesman for the site said the deadline had been extended to 1am and, despite the surge, applications were "still being processed during this period".

However, anyone lucky enough to get their hands on more tickets than they really need will have to wait if they are to recover their money.

Those who wish to sell or exchange their tickets may only do so through the official website - organisers of the London Olympics are determined that ticket touts will not profit from the event and intend to clamp down on anyone attempting to make a quick buck.

The fine for ticket touting recently increased from £5,000 to £20,000 in a bid to deter exorbitant resale prices.

A spokesman for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) told the Daily Mail: "It is against the law to sell tickets in the UK to London 2012 on the open market without LOCOG's permission.

"We are working with online auction sites such as eBay and Gumtree to make it clear that failure to remove a games ticket for sale is a crime."

Unfortunately, the official website through which ticket holders can sell their tickets will not be ready until next year. And since many will have hedged their bets and applied for a host of different events in the hope that they will get at least one of their desired tickets, buyers could find themselves forking out a sizeable sum with no way to recoup their losses... at least for the next eight months.

What do you think? Are you in favour of the Olympic committee's tough stance on ticket touting? Leave a comment below...