June 20, 2018

Assembly Passes Legislation to Protect Consumers from
Exploitative Ticket Reselling Practices

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced the Assembly has passed legislation to reform New York's ticket resale law in an effort to increase transparency and fairness for consumers.

"The Assembly Majority has long been committed to protecting New Yorkers from unscrupulous business practices," said Speaker Heastie. "These deceptive practices have become common practice and deny people access to live concerts and events. Everyone deserves a fair shot at fairly priced tickets."

"Countless New Yorkers are being denied fair access to tickets by resellers who distort the market, obscure information that allows for better purchasing decisions and gouge fans with excessive prices and fees," said Assemblymember Daniel O'Donnell, chair of the Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development. "This bill will reform the system to create a fairer and more transparent market place for all New Yorkers."

Today's legislation will address the ongoing tactic of selling "speculative tickets." Ticket resellers often engage in the practice of selling "speculative tickets," or tickets they do not yet have but anticipate they will be able to get and resell to fans. The practice is confusing and forces everyday ticket purchasers to compete against resellers scrambling to find tickets they have already sold. This legislation will force ticket resellers to disclose to their customers if they do not have the ticket at the time of purchase (A.8245-C, O'Donnell). It also requires the ticket reseller to refund the customer's money if the ticket reseller cannot sell the ticket at the agreed upon price.

Under the bill, online ticket resale marketplaces would also be required to post a clear and conspicuous notice stating that their website is being used for the secondary sale of tickets. Ticket resellers would have to provide their license number on any platform on which they sell tickets and would require all those who sell tickets to clearly disclose all fees and surcharges associated with the purchase of such tickets. Resellers would also be prohibited from using a name in the website or URL that is intended to confuse the public into thinking they are buying a ticket from a primary seller.

Additionally, under today's legislation, any ticket seller that knowingly uses ticket purchasing software, or that owns or controls ticket purchasing software may lose their license and be barred from licensure as a ticket reseller for up to three years for use or ownership of such software.

Lastly, the bill allows professional sports teams with stadiums that seat 30,000 or more to offer membership passes that are discounted tickets to a certain number of games within a specified time. Like other such passes offered in many states with great success, these passes give fans the ability to go to games that they may not have been able to afford to go to otherwise.