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A Virginia-style ban on named paperless tickets will "give people choices when purchasing tickets", says Connecticut senator Kevin Witkos
By Jon Chapple on 08 Jun 2017
In a move billed as “protecting consumers who purchase e-tickets”, the US state of Connecticut has legislated to prohibit the sale of non-transferable paperless tickets.
A growing number of major artists – including, prominently, Iron Maiden – are opting for named electronic tickets, which generally require proof of ID to enter the venue, in a bid to minimise secondary sales.
However, Connecticut house bill 7114 (HB 7114) – An act concerning the sale of entertainment event tickets on the secondary market – which was signed into law on Tuesday by governor Dan Malloy (pictured), outlaws the practice unless “the purchaser of such tickets is offered the option, at the time of initial sale, to purchase the same tickets in another form that is transferrable”.
It also prohibits venues from denying admission “solely on the grounds that such ticket has been resold”.
HB 7114 mirrors a similar piece of legislation in Virginia, HB 1825, which was introduced by local politician Dave Albo after he was unable to resell his ticket for the aforementioned Iron Maiden tour.
“This new state law will give people choices when purchasing tickets,” says Connecticut senator Kevin Witkos, who backed the bill. “It also seeks to prevent against problems when entering a venue if an individual has a ticket that was resold to them.
“This is consumer friendly legislation that updates state law to apply to modern technology and practices of purchasing tickets online”
“This is consumer friendly legislation that updates state law to apply to modern technology and practices of purchasing tickets online.”
The passing of the new legislation was welcomed also by ticket brokers’ association NATB, whose Protect Ticket Rights campaign is committed to an “open” secondary market free of restrictions on resale.
“This new law will protect consumers from unfair and restrictive practices that companies like Ticketmaster and others in the primary ticket market employ to restrict the purchase, sale and transfer of purchased tickets,” comments NATB (National Association of Tickets Brokers) executive director Gary Adler. “These restrictions lead to a market with less choice and higher prices, and we applaud the Connecticut legislature and Governor Malloy for protecting ticket rights.
“This important new law will stop practices like restricted paperless ticketing that harm consumers and the function of a fair and level secondary resale market for tickets. In an open market, if you purchase a ticket, you can do whatever you like with it – including selling it for less or more than you paid – depending on what the market and demand will bear, without onerous strings attached.
“Paperless ticketing is presented as a measure to reduce fraud, but fraud on resale exchanges is not a pervasive problem. While paperless on its own is perfectly fine as a convenience, in practice there are usually restrictions that are designed to prohibit or limit the ability to resell tickets. It is just one example of how large, powerful players in the ticketing system overreach, and this legislation will help to loosen their chokehold and protect consumers.”
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