LANSING, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Michigan House of Representatives is considering HB5108, which benefits out-of-state companies at the expense of Michigan fans, venues and businesses by legalizing ticket scalping. Dramatic change to state ticketing laws have been considered in other states and found to have serious negative effects for consumers.
“HB5108 claims to be for the consumer but it would actually put out-of-state scalpers in the driver’s seat at the expense of Michigan and expose Michigan ticket buyers to unreasonable prices,” said Michael Marion, president of the Fans First Coalition which is a member of the Michigan Sports & Entertainment Industry Coalition.
The Connecticut legislature considered changing its ticketing laws in 2011 and asked the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (CDCP) to look into ticket resales. They released their findings nine months later which exposed “deceptive practices” used by scalpers and which would only become easier in Michigan if HB5108 passes.
The CDCP worked with promoters, venues, sponsors, primary ticket providers, secondary ticket providers, online search engine companies and ticket brokers to make their determinations. They evaluated the ticket purchasing process from the initial search to the actual purchase by the event attendee. The report found several misleading tools used to lure in consumers:
- “Over the last year, the Department (DCP) received 122 complaints about ticket sales… Of the 122 complaints, two concerned the primary ticket market and 120 concerned the secondary ticket market.”
- “Professional resellers may utilize automated systems (‘bots’) or a legion of employees to reserve and purchase large quantities of tickets.”
- “Brokers’ participation in purchasing tickets in the primary ticket market compete with consumers seeking to purchase the same tickets and… may crowd out consumers.”
- “Disappointed consumers may then turn to the secondary market to purchase tickets…. Prices for similar tickets being offered for the same event often vary and are often well above face value.” (emphasis added)
- “Many resellers use the name of venues in their website addresses… Consumers may not realize they are purchasing tickets from a broker and not purchasing from the official box office website.”
Almost every major team, sports and entertainment venue based in Michigan opposes this legislation because it would expose more customers to unscrupulous business practices like those found in Connecticut.
The Fans First Coalition was established in May of 2011 in an effort to change and improve the ticket-purchase experience for fans by fighting for greater access to face-value tickets and enhanced protection against fraudulent business practices. The coalition includes over 200 businesses, industry members, venues, teams and artists who are committed to standing with fans against scalpers. More information is available at www.StandwithFans.org.