Taking Scalping Legal

For scalpers in Massachusetts, a state that continues to regulate ticket resale for concerts and sporting events, staying in the secondary market has required a bit of adaptation.

A recent Boston Globe report found that two scalpers, one of whom had his season tickets revoked after the New England Patriots filed suit against StubHub and resellers found using the site last year, have decided the best way to continue selling on the secondary market is to go legit.

Former NFL player Fred Smerlas, who runs the Web site PatriotsTailgate.com, and Donald Foley Jr., who sold tickets on the streets surrounding Fenway Park for years, have both obtained state licenses to run ticket resale operations, according to the Globe.

By licensing their businesses, Smerlas and Foley will be expected to adhere to the state’s law for resellers, which allows a markup of $2 per ticket plus applicable service and business fees.

But the problem is that the state’s anti-scalping law is rarely enforced, so resellers could very well apply for licenses and still sell tickets at a price of their choosing.

Rep. Michael Rodrigues and a Consumer Protection Committee are pushing for legislation that would overturn the state’s current anti-scalping laws and allow licensed resellers to offer tickets at any price as long as consumer protections are in place, the Globe reported.

One issue reportedly in committee discussions is whether sports teams and operators of places of entertainment should be allowed to restrict the resale of tickets as a condition of purchase.

When New York lawmakers repealed the state’s ban on ticket scalping earlier this year, they also included a section that prohibited those primary ticket sellers from taking action against fans who decided to sell on the secondary market.