Senate Gives Final Passage to Measure that Improves Fairness at the Box Office and Helps Stop Ticket Bait-and-Switch

June 20, 2018

The New Legislation Helps Prevent Event Ticket Price Gouging and Creates a More Transparent Market for Ticket Sales in New York

Today the New York State Senate announced that final passage has been given to legislation that increases transparency and fairness for consumers buying tickets to entertainment in the state. The bill S8501B, sponsored by Senator Terrence Murphy (R-C-I, Yorktown), cracks down on ticket resellers who have distorted the market with misinformation and gouged consumers with excessive prices and fees. 

Senator Murphy said, “New York is home to some of the world's premier artists, performers, and sports teams. Fans deserve every opportunity to see them.  This package is a major step forward for consumers and will help them navigate the often complicated process of ticket purchasing.”

In 2016, the Senate also spearheaded a law to prevent automated ticketing software -  known as “bots” – from buying up concert and event tickets before consumers get a chance to purchase them (S8123). Senator Andrew Lanza (R-C-I, Staten Island) said, “This bill expands the bots law that I sponsored two years ago by protecting consumers of tickets from unscrupulous resellers. I commend Senator Murphy for sponsoring this measure to create transparency and level the playing field for consumers so they can enjoy concerts, shows, and sporting events.” 

The legislation passed today includes crucial reforms to the system and creates a fairer and more transparent marketplace that allows New Yorkers better access to event tickets by:

  • · Requiring operators or their agents and ticket resellers to disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner all fees and surcharges associated with the purchase of tickets;· Prohibiting the use of a name in a website or a URL that is intended to confuse the public into thinking they are buying a ticket directly from an operator or operator's agent when in fact they are on a secondary market website with a confusingly similar name;
  • · Requiring that consumers expressly confirm that they understand what they are purchasing before a transaction can occur, and that resellers provide refunds to consumers who have not yet received a ticket or received a different ticket than was advertised;· Providing that any ticket reseller who knowingly uses bots or other ticket purchasing software, or owns or controls ticket purchasing software may lose their license and be barred from licensure as a ticket reseller for up to three years;
  • · Requiring online ticket resale marketplaces to post a clear and conspicuous notice on their website stating that it is being used for the secondary sale of tickets;
  • · Requiring ticket resellers to provide their license number on any online ticket purchasing platform on which they sell tickets;
  • · Requiring operators to provide a clear and conspicuous disclosure to purchasers if such purchasers are transferred to a ticket seller in the secondary market;
  • · Authorizing professional sports organizations to offer membership passes to a specific number of events in a specified period of time at discounted prices; and· Extending provisions of the current law addressing tickets to places of entertainment for three years.
  • The bill has also passed the Assembly and will be sent to the Governor for review.

Senators Involved