Alabama joins Virginia on the trail of the free market ticket

April 2017

Live events sector


Lawmakers in Alabama are moving towards passing a new rule that would give consumers a statutory right to resell any tickets they have bought, which in turn would limit the tactics artists and promoters can employ to try to fight back against scalping (ticket touting).
There are parallels between the proposals made by Alabama representative Paul Lee and the previously reported measures put forward in Virginia by delegate Dave Albo:  Virginia’s House Of Delegates has now passed the Ticket Resale Rights Act, which prohibits concert promoters from denying someone admission to an event because they have bought their ticket from a tout (scalper). The new legislation also seeks to stop the use of ticket controls designed to limit touting, such as locking a ticket to the credit card used to buy it. Under the Ticket Resale Rights Act, concert promoters  in Virginia wouldn’t be allowed to cancel a touted ticket in that way, whatever the terms and conditions of the ticket may say. Doing so could result in a fine of up to US $5,000.


The Alabama state-level laws would stop event organisers from cancelling tickets that have been resold, or forcing customers to resell their tickets via a specific resale service, and confirms a ticket as a piece of property that people can buy and resell via a platform of their choosing. Lee, who says he is aiming to help consumers, is also targeting the practice of promoters appointing a sole approved resale partner, so that customers can only resell their tickets on that one platform, which usually pays the event organiser a share of the resale commission. According to WSFA, Lee said: “I think, personally, once you buy [a ticket], it’s yours to do with whatever you would like to do with it. Give it away, sell it, whatever the case may be, rather than have to turn it in back to the company, allow them to resell it and make more money on resale”.
Lee’s bill has been passed by the Alabama House of Representatives, and will go before its Senate next month.

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