Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley), Chair of the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee, announced that his sweeping pro-consumer legislation (S.9461) to curb the deceptive practices of mega ticket retailers has passed both houses with bipartisan support. These new reforms follow a lengthy 2021 probe conducted by the investigations committee that pitted Skoufis against some of the biggest players in music, theater, and sports ticketing–and their well-heeled lobbyists.
Two first-in-the-nation requirements within this legislation will inject much-needed honesty and fairness into the purchasing process: requiring ticket resellers to publish the original price paid (or the “face value”) for a ticket, and requiring every seller and reseller to display ‘all-in’ pricing – fees included – in the initial listing, rather than five clicks into a transaction. The legislation also heightens penalties for the use of automated ticket purchasing software (known as “bots”), prohibits resellers from charging for tickets that were originally offered to the public for free, and eliminates delivery fees for tickets delivered electronically or self-printed by the buyer.
New York’s ticketing laws are subject to regular renewal every few years by the Legislature. While most industry reps pushed for a straight extension – with no changes – of the existing law, Senator Skoufis went to bat for consumers to create transparency and healthy competition in the marketplace.
“This has been a long, uphill battle, but we got the job done on behalf of consumers,” said Senator Skoufis. “Concert goers, theater lovers, and sports fans deserve to know exactly how much these sellers are charging when they decide to part with their hard-earned dollars. I’ve heard countless stories from constituents about the exorbitant, deceitful fees charged by mega retailers like Ticketmaster or Stubhub, and had first-hand experiences myself, and these reforms will help New Yorkers enjoy a night out or a big playoff game without much of the ticket buying heartache.”
“Hidden fees can increase the price of an event ticket by as much as 30 to 40 percent,” said Chuck Bell, Advocacy Programs Director for Consumer Reports. “These common sense consumer protections for ticket buyers are long overdue and will help ensure pricing is fair and transparent. We urge Governor Hochul to sign this measure into law so ticket sellers can no longer hide extra fees until the very end of the ticket buying process.”
Bell added: “Software bots enable resellers to buy tickets in bulk at lightning speed and then turn around and sell them on resale platforms at a huge markup. This bill will help prevent price gouging and give all New Yorkers a better chance of purchasing event tickets at affordable prices.”
“Live event fans in New York won today thanks to the leadership of pro-consumer legislators like Senator Skoufis,” said John Breyault, Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud at the National Consumers League. “This bill’s first-in-the-nation all-in pricing requirements will finally stop giant ticketing companies from hiding the true cost of a ticket and surprising fans with huge fees at the end of a transaction.”