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Abinanti Bill Would Protect Consumers From Sports Ticketing Abuses

Assemblyman Tom Abinanti has introduced a bill that would protect consumers from unscrupulous ticketing practices for sporting events and concerts.
Assemblyman Tom Abinanti has introduced a bill that would protect consumers from unscrupulous ticketing practices for sporting events and concerts. Photo Credit: File

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- State Assemblyman Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh/Mount Pleasant) has introduced a bill designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous ticketing practices for sporting events and concerts.

The bill comes after the release of a report from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman detailing significant consumer abuses by the live entertainment ticket industry.

“This is yet another instance in which corporations and the well-connected make out like bandits at the expense of the middle class,” said Abinanti. “I applaud the Attorney General for his hard work in uncovering widespread deception in the ticketing industry.”

The Attorney General’s report comes after a multi-year investigation into the concert and sports ticket industry. The investigation discovered: the majority of tickets to popular concerts are reserved for event insiders and pre-sale customers before being made available to the general public; certain brokers use illegal “ticket bots” – computer programs that help users purchase thousands of tickets in a short period of time; some ticket resellers post speculative ticket listings at markups of almost 1,000 percent; and many ticket resellers even operate without a license.

Among its provisions, Abinanti’s legislation would require the licensing of ticket resellers, prohibit the use of “ticket bots” and place a 20 percent cap over the primary market price for resold tickets. The bill also fulfills a recommendation by the Attorney General prohibiting venue operators from using paperless ticketing systems that have prevented the transfer of tickets from consumer to consumer.

The bill was first introduced and sponsored in the Senate by Senator Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn).

“It comes down to fairness – why should the general public without access to sophisticated ticket-buying computer software have to pay more for concerts and sporting events?” said the Westchester Assemblyman. “Now is the time for the Legislature to act on the Attorney General’s recommendations – this bill is a good start.”

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