The New York State Legislature passed a bill June 20 that aims to reform practices of ticket resellers, including those whose primary inventory consists of Broadway and other theatrical productions.
Among the practices the legislation addresses are the selling of “speculative tickets,” fee disclosures, and the misuse of ticket purchasing software.
Under the bill, ticket resellers who sell “speculative” tickets—tickets not in inventory at the time of reselling but expected to be—must disclose to customers if they do not have the ticket at the time of purchase, as well as provide a refund if the reseller cannot sell the ticket at the agreed-upon price at the time of transaction.
Additionally, online resellers would need to disclose license numbers and all fees and surcharges applied to purchases, state clearly that the service is offering sales from a third party, and refrain from using names and URLs that could mislead the public into thinking the service was a primary seller.
The legislation also prohibits the use of bot ticket-purchasing software, noting that sellers who knowingly violate this could lose licenses for up to three years.
“A lack of oversight has led to a confusing and opaque ticket buying environment,” said Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin in response to the legislation, which awaits signature from Governor Cuomo. “As a long-term champion of consumer protection and theatre accessibility, the League has been a vocal supporter of reform in this area.”
The League has been involved in the development of this legislation, with members joining two round-table discussions advocating for transparency in reselling practices.