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In British English, a tout is any person who solicits business or employment in an importune manner (generally equivalent to a solicitor in American English, or a spruiker in Australian English).

A ticket tout is someone who engages in ticket resale for more than the face value of the ticket (though a ticket reseller is known as a scalper rather than a solicitor in North American and Australian parlance). In recent years some British ticket touts have moved into Internet ticket fraud.

According to the American Bar Association, touting occurs when a person advertises, promotes, or otherwise describes a security for sale without disclosing that the person is being paid to do so.

An example would be a person who frequents heavily touristed areas and presents himself as a tour guide (particularly towards those who do not speak the local language) but operates on behalf of local bars, restaurant, or hotels, being paid to direct tourists towards certain establishments.

In the sports betting world, a tout is someone who sells picks of winners against the spread and the over/under. Most touts are scam artists and most don't have a long term winning record. Touts are viewed in a very negative light by many sports bettors, since a tout who could regularly pick winning teams could make a considerable amount of money by simply betting those team, rather than selling those picks to the public.

In transportation, the term "taxi touts" refers to a kind of illegal taxicab operation which involved taxi drivers (or their operator) promoting to potential passengers the business illegally.
In London, these kind of "black taxis" has become a big problem due to the quality of service is variant and occupying roads by parking beside the double yellow line.

In Northern Irelandmarker a tout is an informant, a term which includes supergrass.


  1. Jamie Doward: "How boom in rogue ticket websites fleeces Britons". The Observer, Sunday March 9 2008.
  2. The murky world of informers, BBC News, 4 April 2006, retrieved 29 October 2009
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