November 28, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Combating Unfair Ticket Purchasing and Reselling Practices

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Combating Unfair Ticket Purchasing and Reselling Practices

New Law Makes the Resale of Tickets Obtained Using “Ticket Bots” Illegal Increases Criminal Penalties for Those Who Knowingly Resell Tickets Obtained Through a “Ticket Bot”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to combat unfair and illegal ticket purchasing and reselling practices. The bill (S.8123/A.10713) creates new penalties for individuals who use computer software known as “ticket bots” to manipulate systems designed to limit the number of tickets to an event that a person can buy. These unfairly purchased tickets typically end up resold on ticket marketplace websites for substantially higher prices. Under the new legislation, individuals who resell tickets they know were obtained using ticket bots will also face new penalties.

“These unscrupulous speculators and their underhanded tactics have manipulated the marketplace and often leave New Yorkers and visitors alike with little choice but to buy tickets on the secondary market at an exorbitant mark-up,” Governor Cuomo said. “It’s predatory, it’s wrong and, with this legislation, we are taking an important step towards restoring fairness and equity back to this multi-billion dollar industry. I thank Attorney General Schneiderman and the sponsors of this legislation for their diligence and hard work to pass this much-needed measure.”

"In recent years, it has become almost impossible to find affordable tickets – or even any tickets at all – for all popular shows," said New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. "Brokers armed with illegal, high-speed ticket-buying bots have kept too many New Yorkers from attending the shows, sporting events, and cultural experiences that make New York so special. I was honored to work with Governor Cuomo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Assemblyman Crespo, and Senator Lanza and to pass this new law which will go a long way to finally bringing sanity--and fairness--to the ticket buying process."

Senator Andrew J. Lanza said, “When I became Chairman of the Senate Investigations Committee, I vowed to pass legislation to combat the robotic ticket broker programs that unscrupulous speculators used to rig the system and deny my constituents and fans across New York a fair chance at buying entertainment tickets. This law, which represents the strongest ‘anti-bot’ legislation in the nation, will increase penalties for those who use Bots, help stop ticket price gouging and ensure that consumers have a fair chance to purchase tickets to their favorite sporting events, concerts and shows. As the prime Senate sponsor of this bill, I would like to thank Assemblyman Crespo, Attorney General Schneiderman, and Governor Cuomo for their hard work and determination.”

“I commend Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation to help maintain the integrity of the ticket-buying market,” said New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, whose Department of State licenses ticket sellers and resellers. “These new laws will make access to events more equitable for all New Yorkers and ultimately, make it more affordable for consumers.”

The new legislation expands the definition of ticket purchasing software to include the wide variety of systems used to quickly amass tickets before the general public can access them. It establishes penalties not just for the use of ticket purchasing software, but also for anyone who resells tickets they know were obtained through the use of a ticket bot.

The law also establishes a class A misdemeanor for using ticket bots, maintaining an interest in or control of "bots,” and reselling tickets knowingly obtained with ticket bots. Violators could face substantial fines and imprisonment.


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