Fighting scalping on Broadway is good for audiences

Volume 119, No. 1January, 2019

In case you missed it: in 2018, the New York State Legislature passed historic legislation and adopted important consumer disclosures in the ticket resale market.

Ticket buying has changed rapidly with the growth of the internet, which has become the primary source for purchasing tickets to concerts, sporting events and live theatre. Accordingly, many producers, artists and venues have worked with the legislature and sought to enhance consumer protection in the state’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Law governing the sale and resale of tickets.

The law was the result of nearly two years of active legislative inquiry and deliberation. During that period, League members and staff joined two large stake-holder round-table discussions on enhancing the current law, participated in dozens of meetings with state legislators to advocate for transparency in the resale market and submitted several filings recommending language to help improve the current legislation.

Despite vehement opposition from the broker industry, this year’s legislation marks a significant victory for ticket buyers and helps ensure that the public has access to valuable information upon which to make informed purchases, while maintaining the ability to convey tickets should they no longer be able to attend the show or event. Among other important protections, the legislation requires that broker sites disclose all fees and surcharges prior to accepting payment, divulge when tickets are being sold on speculation and provide a refund if tickets are not delivered timely. It also expressly proscribes unauthorized resellers from implying an official relationship to an event or production by prohibiting the use of intentionally misleading web URLs.

Thanks to the Broadway League for this information, which was published in a press release.