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Protect Ticket Rights group welcomes passing of New York reform bill

The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) has called on the rest of the US to follow New York’s lead after welcoming the signing into law of the state’s new ticketing market reform bill.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul put her signature to the Senate Bill S9461 on Thursday, with anyone selling tickets in the state now legally obliged to include fees upfront and those reselling having to disclose how much was originally paid for the tickets being resold.

The NATB – which has sponsored the Protect Ticket Rights initiative – welcomed the strengthening of consumer rights with greater reassurance for those purchasing as well as the maintenance of existing rights for owners to do as they wish with the tickets they have purchased.

“We are thrilled that New York is continuing its strong policy in favour of ticket transferability,” said Gary Adler, executive director of the NATB.

“We applaud New York’s attempt to fix what is broken in ticketing and protect consumers. While terrific progress is being made at the state level, really all consumers across the nation deserve the same protections.

“The US Congress should revisit its past work on this matter to finally repair deep flaws in ticketing that begin before tickets go on sale all the way to the point when they are scanned for entry. Consumers deserve better than what they face today.”

The NATB was formed in 1994 by a group of ticket brokers who desired to establish an industry-wide standard of conduct and to create ethical rules and procedures to protect the public and foster a positive perception of the industry.

The Protect Ticket Rights initiative was set up due to concerns about efforts to restrict the purchase, sale and transfer of tickets. Issues identified included sports teams threatening to cancel the season tickets of holders found to be reselling their seats and holders being forced to sell their property through a single designated resale platform.

The NATB welcomed the New York law’s commitment to allowing ticketholders to still freely transfer their purchased tickets with the right to use, give away, or resell as they wish.

The NTAB also backed aspects of the law that require consumers to be offered a non-digital paper ticket if they desire “all of which is intended to protect ticketholder rights and prevent any one ticket selling company from monopolising the market and exerting too much control over ticket buyers and ticketholders in New York”.

The new law comes after Protect Ticket Rights commissioned polling in New York, which found that 84% of residents supported a renewal of the previous law. It also found that 90% of New Yorkers support the right to freely transfer their purchased tickets.

After the bill was passed by New York’s Assembly in early June, co-sponsor and State Senator James Skoufis told Rolling Stone that better transparency can help ticket buyers make more informed decisions. He said: “Information is power in this space as it is in any other marketplace. When we pass regulations like this, people will be able to know ‘am I getting a good deal or a bad deal?’

“If they’re getting a bad deal and if they get marked up three, four, 10 times and they still want to buy the ticket, God bless them. But they deserve to know the answer to that fundamental question: Am I getting ripped off here or not?”

Image: Michael Discenza on Unsplash