Michigan’s House has voted to repeal a rarely enforced ban against ticket touting for sports and entertainment events.
The bill was approved 71-36 with it now being moved to the senate for consideration. In 2014, the bill to legalise ticket scalping was voted down in the Senate.
As it stands, selling tickets above face value is a misdemeanour in Michigan that can lead to a maximum of 90 days in jail or a $500 fine. Michigan is one of the most populous states in the US with almost 10 million citizens, and its major arenas include the 20,000-capacity Little Caesars Arena.
The issue on whether or not to repeal the law has pitted venue owners and professional sports team against ticket brokers that use resale sites to make a profit.
The legislation that has been passed in the House would enforce penalties for possessing bot software that can harvest tickets en masse online.
“This is the third term in a row [a bill has been up that would eliminate the blanket ban on resale in Michigan],” said State Rep Tim Kelly, who characterised the existing regulation as an old law that needs to go.
“[It] is the most accommodating bill I think that we’ve arrived at as yet to try to appease some of those that have been against or opposed all along. We’re one of a handful of remaining states [to ban resale]. This has been on the books since the 1930s; so things have changed, and this is the last bastion.”