New York Legislature Passes Pro-Scalping Bill

ALBANY, NY (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — New York State Legislature passed a bill last week that legalizes ticket scalping for major venues throughout the state.

Under current law, ticket buyers can only resell their tickets for $5 or 20 percent above face value, whichever is greater. The arenas, however, can charge whatever the market will bear.

New York State Senator Nicholas Spano, a sponsor of the bill, said the old statute hurts consumers.

“Eliminating the ‘maximum premium price’ restriction for secondary market tickets in venues over 6,000 seats will allow for free market economics to take hold,” he said in a memorandum supporting the bill, according to New York Newsday. “Consumers will ultimately benefit from the increased supply of tickets and prices will decrease.”

Spano said that current law hurts season ticket holders and other sellers who can’t sell their extra tickets for events they cannot attend. The bill is similar to laws in California, Arizona and some other states.

“Right now, the law is not working for the consumer,” Spano said. “People are scalping tickets in violation of the law.”

Broadway theaters will still be protected from scalpers, however, because the current law would stay in effect for venues with less than 6,000 seats.

To be able to resell tickets, a person or business would have to pay a $5,000 licensing fee. The bill would also allow the resale of tickets on the Internet through sites like eBay and StubHub.com.

Opponents of the bill said it would hurt consumers by allowing scalpers to purchase tickets meant for fans, then charge whatever they want.

“This bill is essentially capitulation” to ticket scalpers, State Senator Eric Schneiderman told the paper. “This bill does not protect consumers…it’s a step in the wrong direction.”

The New York Public Interest Research Group released a statement saying the measure lets “loose free market forces without rooting out the corruption that lies at the heart of ticket scalping.” The statement said that bill does not offer the same protections for single event and limited-run larger events where the potential to exploit fans is greater than for Broadway shows. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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