Michigan lawmaker seeks to make scalping legal

December 2013

Live events sector


A Michigan politician says he wants to make it legal to sell sporting event or concert tickets above face value and has introduced legislation that would repeal a 1931 state law that bans ticket scalping unless it’s authorised by the venue or event operators. Republican Rep. Tim Kelly of Saginaw Township said he is lining up bipartisan support for his bill. He says it’s a common-sense measure that would let the free market decide the price of a ticket saying “An individual who buys a ticket to a sporting event or concert owns that ticket, and they should have every right to sell it if they so choose” adding “This legislation, quite literally, is about allowing the man on the street to sell tickets at fair market value to willing buyers. It creates more fairness while providing some relief to our already overburdened court system.”
Kelly said here is no reason for the government to interfere in a transaction between a willing buyer and willing seller. The legislation now goes to a House committee for consideration. And one of Kelly’s Democratic colleagues said allowing ticket re-sales is a matter of fairness. Rep. Doug Geiss of Taylor introduced a bill last term that would have limited price markups on ticket websites to up to 10 percent more than face value and also require online resellers to publish the original price of the ticket. That bill did not reah the committee hearing stage and Geiss said he now supports Kelly’s proposal saying “As the law currently stands, it doesn’t make sense why can I go online and charge somebody $500 for a $50 ticket, but if I sell it in front of a stadium, if I sell it for $51, I can have that ticket confiscated from me,” Geiss said.
Local promoters, arenas and music and sporting venues are reviewing Kelly’s scalping bill although most remain firmly opposed.



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