This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
BBC Learning English Launch BBC Media Player
  • Help
  • Text only
You are in: Learning English > News English > Words in the News
Learning English - Words in the News
10 December, 2007 - Published 14:02 GMT
Olympic tickets on sale illegally
Olympic torch
Olympic torch

Black market tickets are already on sale for next year's summer Olympic Games in Beijing. It is illegal to resell tickets for profit, but tickets are being sold over the internet for more than ten times the official price. Michael Bristow in Beijing reports:

Listen to the story

More than one and a half million tickets have already been sold for the Olympic Games in Beijing next August. Many have been bought by genuine sports fans. But others have not.

Some ticket holders are already selling off their seats on the black market for inflated prices. A ticket for the opening ceremony that originally cost less than two hundred pounds is now on sale for more than two and a half thousand pounds.

This is not supposed to be happening. Olympic rules say people can transfer a ticket to somebody else, but not for financial gain. Anyone caught faces detention and a fine.

But this has not deterred ticket holders selling their seats openly on the internet and the authorities seem either unable or unwilling to crack down on these illegal transactions. Beijing has now started the second round of ticket sales. Expect many of these to end up on the black market in the coming months.

Listen to the words

genuine sports fans
real sports followers (not people who just want to make money)

selling off their seats
selling their tickets for their seats

the black market
the illegal trading of things that are not allowed to be bought and sold, or that there are not enough of for everyone who wants them

inflated prices
prices which are higher than they should be

transfer a ticket to somebody else
give a ticket to somebody else

must deal with

to crack down on
to start to deal with in a more serious way

the second round of ticket sales
A round is a number of things or events. For example: 'The second round of voting began in August.'

to end up
to finally be

the coming months
the next few months

27 May, 2011
Destruction of smallpox virus delayed
25 May, 2011
Micro-finance 'misused and abused'
20 May, 2011
Lonely planets
18 May, 2011
Germany to invest in more electric cars
16 May, 2011
Argentina builds a tower of books
Other Stories