Governor Phil Murphy has signed a bill into law which acts to remove a cap of five per cent on the number of tickets artists, venues and other parties can withhold from public sale before they hit the open market.

The New Jersey Ticket Brokers Association and the National Association of Ticket Brokers has hit out at the US state’s decision to green light the new law that acts to restructure ticket selling policy.

The cap has been in place for nearly two decades, but venue owners in New Jersey were said to have heavily endorsed the bill, which was reportedly quietly fast-tracked through legislature without any public hearings on the matter.

In a statement reported by the NJ.com website, Murphy said the new legislation fixes an “increasingly outdated” structure in the state “by adding a number of consumer protections, including a requirement that ticket resellers refund purchasers if the ticketed event is cancelled or if the ticket is insufficient to gain admission to the event.”

Murphy claimed that the existing cap proved a “competitive disadvantage” for New Jersey against neighbouring states that don’t have such a policy.

In July, a group of US secondary ticketing advocates including Scot X. Esdaile of US Minority Ticketing Group (USMTG), Tom Patania of NJ Ticket Brokers, Gary Adler of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) and Darnell Goldson of TicketNetwork joined forces to urge Murphy to review the proposed changes.

A letter from the group to Murphy called on the Governor to veto the bill by claiming it would benefit the entertainment industry giants, rather than the consumers of New Jersey. These groups have resumed their criticism following approval of the legislation, which cleared both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature with bipartisan support.

Adler said in a statement: “This Ticketmaster bill was designed to hand virtually total monopolistic power to a few mega corporations while sticking it to the everyday fan.

“Laws should be passed that protect consumers. Yet this is a case where lawmakers wasted taxpayer’s time as they bestow new powers on venues and Ticketmaster to reach deeper into the wallets of hard working consumers whose only fault is their love for live events.”

Image: Pixino