Utah bill aims to protect ticket re-sellers as well as those who buy scalped tickets

Utah bill aims to protect ticket re-sellers as well as those who buy scalped tickets (KUTV)

(KUTV) Jake Swensen had five extra tickets to the Broadway musical, Hamilton, which will make a stop in Salt Lake City next month. Swensen hoped to sell them for way more than face value and make a profit. He listed them for sale online for $1000 each.

His ability to do so is something lawmakers in Utah are trying to protect.

A bill, titled the Consumer Ticket Protection Amendments, would protect ticket re-sellers by making it against the law for an artist or venue to cancel tickets that were resold. It sailed through the Utah House Representatives and now has strong support in the state Senate. Monday it passed out of the Senate’s revenue and taxation committee unanimously.

The law would fly in the face of some performers who have been fighting back on behalf of their fans, attempting to keep ticket prices reasonable. Hamilton's producers, for example, have gone as far as cancelling tickets they suspect were purchased by ticket-scalping-robots solely to be resold.

Other performers are doing the same, or have come up with other creative ways to try and keep ticket prices near face-value. As Get Gephardt reported, Bruce Springsteen is among a handful of artists who are requiring ticket-holders show up with the credit card that was used to buy the seats originally to get through the doors.

Federal lawmakers have also cracked down on ticket-scalping robots, or bots, which can be programmed to even get around bot-preventing programs. As Get Gephardt reported, such bots can snag up thousands of seats in the blink of an eye making it next to impossible for the average fan to get seats at face-value when they go on sale.

Monday, the bill's sponsor, Deidre Henderson, testified that her bill is not meant to protect ticket scalpers. It’s meant to protect people like Jake, and his right to do what he wants with his property without the fear of seeing the seats cancelled.

As Get Gephardt reported last winter, Utah lawmakers were discussing legislation that would cap the amount above face value at which a ticket could be sold. That legislation has been abandoned.

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