LANSING, MI (CelebrityAccess) — Legislators in Michigan are weighing a raft of proposals to address perceived abuses in the concert and event ticketing industry that include the legalization of scalping.
According to MLive, two bills currently before the State Senate include measures that would block the use of automated software to purchase large volumes of tickets. The bill would also repeal the state’s 88-year-old prohibition on ticket scalping which makes it a misdemeanor to resell tickets at prices above face value.
Members of the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee were largely supportive of the measures after hearing testimony from ticketing industry stakeholders on Thursday.
“In Michigan right now it would be more legal to roll marijuana into your ticket and smoke it than it would be to sell it to another concert-goer,” Republican State Sen Tom Barrett (R) told MLive.. “To me, that’s wrong. We’re decriminalizing a lot of activity in our state at this time, I think that effort is in large part a good thing.”
However, some in the industry weighed in against decriminalizing scalping. According to MLive, Dusty Brighton, a spokesperson for Live Nation, said that legalizing scalping will reduce the ability of venues and artists to crack down on price distortions created by ticket speculation.
This isn’t the first time Michigan has made a push to legalize marked-up ticket resales. Similar measures were defeated in 2018.
Other measures in the bills include banning the use of deceptive websites intended to look like an official artist or venue page.