Changes to New York’s laws on ticketing will be put on hold for at least a year as lawmakers seek to introduce measures that will improve consumer protections in the long-term.
State legislature committee chairs Senator James Skoufis and Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell issued a joint statement on Monday indicating they had agreed in principle to a one-year extension of the existing Arts & Cultural Affairs law that governs ticketing in the state. The extension, they said, ensures that current consumer protections do not expire, but means that a longer three-year extension proposed by some of their colleagues is off the table.
They said they will spend the next 12 months considering changes, including those recommended in the Senate’s recent investigative report on the topic which led to the introduction of Senate Bill S6716. These recommendations include requiring consumer refunds for postponed and cancelled events and mandating disclosures around platform fees and ticket holdbacks. Other proposals include mandating platforms to report bot activity to the Attorney General and the prohibition of resale platforms from allowing unlicensed brokers from selling tickets on their site.
“Previous negotiations of the state’s ticketing laws, including the most recent in 2018, have seen the Assembly lead the way on pro-consumer reforms,” Skoufis and O’Donnell wrote in their statement.
“With a new majority partner on this issue in the Senate, we are intent on reviewing the current state statute to make New York the indisputable leader in fan-friendly ticketing practices.
“That’s why we will advance a temporary, one-year extension to allow for a comprehensive vetting of proposed refors, including those recommended in the Senate’s recent investigative report on the topic.”
Other measures in Bill S6716, which has passed preliminary hearings in the legislature, include the requirement of the disclosure of a ticket’s face value upon resale, a ban on speculative ticket sales and the mandating of all-in pricing where the first price a consumer sees shall include fees.
The pair added: “In the months ahead, the Senate and Assembly will begin to thoroughly and deliberately work through the many issues surrounding ticketing, including hosting a joint hearing or roundtable later this year.
“We are dedicated to making certain New York is positioned for an unconditional comeback and we share a steadfast belief that our state’s consumers deserve world-class entertainment at affordable fair prices.
“To that end, we are committed to ensuring that New York is a fan-friendly leader at this most critical time.”
The Senate investigation led by Skoufis heard testimony from the Broadway League, NFL’s Buffalo Bills and StubHub, among many others, after being launched earlier this year. The investigation was instigated to examine “potentially unfair and deceptive practices occurring in New York State’s primary and secondary ticket marketplaces for live events in order to identify any legislative and policy reforms that would help ensure sales are fair, equitable, transparent, and accessible for consumers and other stakeholders.”