A Hudson Valley lawmaker on Tuesday proposed a package of changes to ticket sales for live events that are meant to bolster consumer protections.
The proposed legislation follows a year-long investigation by Sen. James Skoufis' office into the practices of live ticket event sales. The bill of consumer changes come as the pandemic's guidelines begin to ease and live events in public gathering spaces return.
“The Ticketmasters of the world want to perpetuate a system that allows them to continue fleecing hardworking New Yorkers,” said Sen. James Skoufis. “As we continue to reopen and rebuild our status as the entertainment capital of the country, New York has a rare opportunity to ensure our state leads the nation in accessible, fan-friendly live event experiences that position ourselves for an unconditional comeback. Now is the time to take up long overdue reforms and put an end to the outright thievery that consumers face on a daily basis.”
Skoufis proposed a package of changes that include new regulations for ticket-buying platforms to report "bot" activity to the state attorney general's office; bars resale platforms from allowing unlicensed brokers from selling tickets on their sites; and extends refund requirements to postponed live events. The bill would also change broker license fees and clarifies who can obtain a broker's license.
The bill would also ban speculative ticket sales and requires "all-in pricing" in which the first price a consumer sees will include the fees.
"Holdbacks" on events would be capped at 10% as well.
"The common-sense consumer protections provided through this legislation are long overdue," said Consumer Reports' Programs Director for Advocacy Chuck Bell. "As New York reopens its entertainment venues and stadiums in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to ensure that consumers get fair value for their money, and can have confidence in the honesty and integrity of the businesses they patronize. Consumer Reports, along with our partners at the National Consumers League, urge the passage of this bill."