Florida May Legalize Scalping

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill that would legalize ticket scalping in the state, where it has been illegal for 61 years to resell tix for more than face value.

The measure, filed in both branches of the state legislature, would permit Floridians to resell tickets for any price on authorized Web sites that offer consumer protection guarantees, such as refunds for cancellations or late ticket delivery, according to the Miami Herald.

Traditional street-corner scalpers would be able to resell tickets for 25 percent more than face value.

The measure is supported by online ticket broker StubHub, which is no surprise, but Ticketmaster supports it, too.

“There’s a current market out there that is booming,” bill sponsor Rep. Marcelo Llorente told the paper. “We want to be able to offer the consumers the protections they deserve and the ability to resell their tickets for whatever price the market will bear.”

Florida’s current scalping laws make it a second degree misdemeanor to resell a ticket for more than $1 over the original selling price, punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Licensed brokers can resell tickets for more than face value, but only as part of travel packages.

Ticket brokers are happy with the legislation, touting it as a victory for free enterprise.

“A free market is by far the best for the consumer,” Gary Adler, general counsel for the National Association of Ticket Brokers, was quoted saying.

The measure sailed through a state House committee March 29th and must move through another committee before it goes to the Senate for approval.