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New Jersey legislature advances ticket resale bill

The New Jersey legislature has moved forward with a bill that would provide consumers with the right to buy tickets that may be transferred or resold without penalty.

The US state’s Assembly Committee has advanced the ‘New Jersey Ticket Consumer Choice Act,’ which would guarantee the right of ticket buyers to opt out of restrictions that limit their ability to use, sell or give away tickets they have purchased.

Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, prime sponsor of the legislation, said: “No one wants to be stuck paying for a ticket to an event they can’t attend. Nontransferable tickets cannot be resold, leaving consumers no resource to recoup their money. The goal of this bill is to ensure consumers have the option to buy tickets that may be transferred to someone else if the situation arises.”

If passed into law, ticketing platforms would no longer be able to sell non-transferable tickets and consumers would not be penalised or face discrimination for reselling their ticket.

Issuers would be permitted, however, to sell or give away tickets in a non-transferable form in the context of targeted promotions or private events. The bill also removes the existing statutory caps on the resale prices of tickets.

The current New Jersey law states that no reseller other than a registered ticket broker shall resell or purchase with the intent to resell a ticket at a maximum premium in excess of 20 per cent of the ticket price or $3.00, whichever is greater. It adds that brokers cannot resell passes with a 50 per cent price hike, both measures which will be omitted from the law if the ‘New Jersey Ticket Consumer Choice Act’ is passed.

Similar legislation protecting the rights of ticket holders to resell their tickets has been in effect in New York State for six years.

The bill is also sponsored by Assembly Democrats Clinton Calabrese and Robert Karabinchak.

Calabrese said: “Anyone who’s bought a ticket to an event with high demand – from a Bruce Springsteen show to the Super Bowl – knows how hectic the process of buying tickets can be. In some cases, fans may not realise they’re getting tickets that can’t be resold later.

“Consumers should have a clear option to buy a transferable ticket at the time of sale, giving them both the awareness of what kind of ticket they’re buying and the ability to choose what’s right for them.”

Karabinchak added: “If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the importance of flexibility.

“Consumers should have the flexibility to transfer their tickets to someone else without being charged unnecessary fees or facing other penalties. At its core, this bill is about protecting the rights of consumers.”

The measure will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further review.

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