N.Y. Scalping Bill Approved

New York’s state Legislature passed a bill June 1st that would allow ticket scalping for events at large venues.

Under current law, ticket buyers can resell tickets for $5 above face value or 20 percent more than what they paid, whichever is greater.

State Sen. Nicholas Spano, a sponsor of the bill, said that eliminating “maximum premium price” restrictions for secondary market tickets in venues with 6,000 seats or more will allow for free market economics to take hold.

“Consumers will ultimately benefit from the increased supply of tickets and prices will decrease,” Spano said.

He and fellow sponsor Assemblyman Joseph Morelle said the current law hurts season ticket holders and other sellers who can’t sell their tickets for events they cannot attend.

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

The current law would remain in effect for venues with less than 6,000 seats, a provision meant to protect Broadway theatres from scalpers.

In order 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 buy up ducats then charge whatever they want.

In a statement, Russ Haven of the New York Public Interest Research Group said the measure allows “loose free-market forces without rooting out the corruption that lies at the heart of ticket scalping.”

He added that the 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 performances.