Press Release: Statement on NY Governor Cuomo Signing into Law New Anti-Bot Ticket Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 29, 2016) – Gary Adler, Executive Director and Counsel of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB), issued the following statement in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo signing into law legislation (S.8123/A.10713) to combat unfair and illegal ticket purchasing and reselling practices.

“When tickets go on sale, people should not be competing with ticket-hording software to make a purchase. NATB has long advocated for an open ticket marketplace free of fraud and deceit. We commend Governor Cuomo, Attorney General Schneiderman and state legislators for taking action to stop practices that harm consumers and the function of a fair and level secondary resale market for tickets. The professional resale companies that are members of NATB oppose bots as part of our Code of Ethics and we support efforts to crack down on bots. As Attorney General Schneiderman’s own investigation and report from earlier this year show, while bots are bad, they are merely one of many harmful issues at play in the overall ticketing system.”

As to those anticompetitive practices, NATB and its Protect Ticket Rights initiative ( draw attention to efforts underway in many different forms that restrict the purchase, sale and transfer of tickets. These include:

  • Ticket Holds: Event promoters and venues commonly place “holds” on large numbers of tickets before they go on sale to the public. Reports indicate that only 46% of tickets become available when tickets go on sale, leaving less than half to meet demand – which is the reason events sell out too quickly and lead to frustration over supply and market price.
  • Restricting Transferability: Some performers, promoters and venues use paperless tickets which require the credit card holder who purchased them to show the card and ID at the door of the event. This means that only the original purchaser can use the tickets, essentially eliminating the ability for tickets to be transferred (shared, gifted or sold).
  • Ticket Cancellations / Non-Renewal of Season Tickets: Some sports teams are cancelling, threatening to cancel, or choosing not renew accounts of season ticket holders that they believe are reselling tickets, punishing the most vested fans in an effort to have even more control over the primary and secondary ticket markets. Few season ticket holders can attend every game, so it’s reasonable they may want to give away or sell some of their tickets. Others may need to resell a portion of their tickets as a means to afford their full ticket package. It is never good for consumers in any industry where the market is controlled in this manner.
  • Resale Platform Exclusivity: Some sports leagues, teams and primary ticket platforms are requiring ticket buyers to use a single designated resale ticket platform should they wish to resell their tickets with terms (such as minimum resale prices regardless of actual market value) set and controlled by the team. These price minimums regardless of actual market value and charge more fees despite fees already being paid in the initial sale. Recent reports indicate fees can average 21% of face values.

NATB and its Protect Ticket Rights ( initiative defend the rights of ticket buyers and sellers through a stringent Code of Ethics, legislative advocacy and in the public arena. We do so according to the values outlined in NATB’s Ticket Owner Bill of Rights. NATB brokers are professional resellers that offer a 200% refund on guaranteed tickets.

Launched in August 2016, Protect Ticket Rights has engaged tens of thousands consumers and is dedicated to protecting consumers and professional resellers right to buy, sell and transfer tickets freely in an open marketplace.  

Recent articles by NATB’s Gary Adler:

Sun-Sentinel:     Marlins, others need to play fair with ticket holders

Fox Business:      Abusive Ticket Rules Hurt Consumers

The Hill:                 Fans deserve protection in the ticket marketplace

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