Venues will now be required by law to make paper tickets an option for customers in the US state of Connecticut.
The legislation, signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, will require companies that sell e-tickets to also make printed, paper tickets available, while providing a means to transfer their ticket without restrictions.
Venues in New Haven and Hartford are among the most popular venues in the New England region, with major acts such as U2 having played in the state. Movie theatres and venues with a capacity of less than 3,500 will be exempt from the law.
“This new state law will give people choices when purchasing tickets. It also seeks to prevent against problems when entering a venue if an individual has a ticket that was resold to them,” said Connecticut State Senator Kevin Witkos, the Deputy Senate Republican Pro Tempore, according to a statement.
“This is consumer-friendly legislation that updates state law to apply to modern technology and practices of purchasing tickets online.”
Gary Adler, the executive director and counsel for the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB), said in a statement: “This new law will protect consumers from unfair and restrictive practices that companies like Ticketmaster and others in the primary ticket market employ to restrict the purchase, sale and transfer of purchased tickets.
“These restrictions lead to a market with less choice and higher prices and we applaud the Connecticut Legislature and Governor Malloy for protecting ticket rights. This important new law will stop practices like restricted paperless ticketing that harm consumers and the function of a fair and level secondary resale market for tickets.”
Adler also said, according to the A Journal of Musical Things website, that paperless ticketing was originally introduced as a way to combat fraudulent tickets and help protect consumers.
He said: “Fraud on resale exchanges is not a pervasive problem. While paperless on its own is perfectly fine as a convenience, in practice there are usually restrictions that are designed to prohibit or limit the ability to resell tickets.
“It is just one example of how large, powerful players in the ticketing system overreach and this legislation will help loosen their chokehold and protect consumers.”
The state of Virginia recently passed a similar bill, in which ticket sellers and venues could not disallow the sale of ticket without going through a designated secondary market site first.
In addition, The Ticketing Business reported in March that lawmakers in Maryland commenced legislative hearings over new laws that could restrict the reselling of tickets.
State Sen. Brian Feldman, the sponsor of the bill, wants to limit restrictions that primary vendors such as Ticketmaster can place on the reselling of tickets. Supporters claim the tickets are the property of the purchaser, and they should be able to do with them as they wish.
Image: Nick Youngson