From week to week and state to state, bills are being presented before state legislators aimed at allowing ticket resellers to dictate how the primary sellers can sell what they create. Most if not all bills, however, do not place any restrictions on scalpers to prevent the sale of counterfeit tickets by ticket scalpers, the use of automated BOT programs or online computer tricks by scalpers to grab up tickets on sale or the creation of fake web sites by unscrupulous scalpers that deceptively mimic the actual ticket purchasing webpage of a venue or ticket issuer.
In Texas, 38 venues along with IAVM have already lined up to oppose House Bill 3041 introduced by Rep. Rene Oliveira that seeks to limit non-transferable tickets. IAVM President and CEO Vicki Hawarden, CMP, and American Airlines Center Vice President and General Manager Dave Brown were among those testifying in Austin on April 2 before the House Business and Industry Committee to voice their opposition to HB 3041. The bill is promoted by StubHub’s Fan Freedom group and scalpers who aim to limit the ability of artists, teams and venues to determine the terms under which tickets to their events may be sold.
“We believe that it is up to the artists and venues and anyone who distributes tickets to respond to market conditions and fan needs,” said Hawarden. “If states are at a competitive disadvantage artists will simply bypass those states.”
In her testimony, Hawarden said the issue is not to oppose the reseller market, but to ensure that the tickets that go to resellers are from fans who need to sell a ticket as opposed to operators who buy blocks of tickets for the sole purpose of reselling them at the expense of fans who then are left with expensive ticket prices as their only option.
“If states are at a competitive disadvantage artists will simply bypass those states.”
“This is a bill that claims to be consumer-friendly, but constitutes an attempt to benefit ticket scalpers at the detriment of consumers and other businesses. For these reasons, the sports and entertainment industry strongly opposes this legislation,” said Amanda Mills with Live Nation, who along with Ticketmaster, TicketsNow and Artis Nation are also among those in opposition.
The bill was left pending and could be brought up to a vote at a future meeting. Bills must be voted from committees by early May.
IAVM members in the state are encouraged to write letters voicing opposition to The Honorable Rene Oliveira, Texas House of Representatives, P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910.