As NYS Music reported in January, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a report putting the concert ticketing industry on blast. That report found that at least 54 percent of tickets for the biggest shows were being set aside for privileged pre-sale or industry insiders. The report also found ticketing agencies using bots to purchase tickets to be resold at much higher prices on resale sites.
Last week, the AG’s office announced a settlement has been reached with six ticket brokering companies as a result of this report. This week, Schniederman pressured the major players, including StubHub, Ticketmaster and VividSeats, to level the playing field for the general public looking for tickets to big-ticket shows.
New York law requires ticket re-sellers to be licensed in the state and prohibits them from using bots to buy tickets for resale. The six firms found to be in violation of state law that are settling with the state on this issue are TicketToad.com, Flying Falco Entertainment of California (doing business as Avery Tickets), Charm City Entertainment, All Events Utah (all out of state) and two New York-based brokers, Just in Time Tickets and A2Z Tix. All but Charm City were found to have used bots in purchasing tickets.
The settlement among the four brokers has thus far totaled $2.76 million. Charm City skated with a $100,000 settlement, while Flying Falco coughed up the largest settlement at $1,125,000.
In a statement, Schneiderman said:
Ticketing is a fixed game. The industry’s tactics prevent New Yorkers from getting tickets at affordable prices, or even getting them at all. Now we are calling on the major industry players to take steps to address these issue.
According to the Daily News, ticket brokers are willing to work with the attorney general. StubHub has issued a response: “We are in receipt of the letter and are currently reviewing the AG’s request.”
In his press release, Schneiderman laid the gauntlet:
Our office has zero tolerance for ticket resellers that use illegal bots to scoop up large numbers of tickets for popular events before consumers can obtain them, and then resell those tickets to those very same consumers at a large markup. New Yorkers deserve a fairer ticket marketplace. Our office will continue to enforce New York’s ticket laws by investigating ticket brokers who are breaking our laws, and making them pay for their illegal acts.
Schneiderman is making the effort and succeeding thus far. It only serves the music industry as a whole for ticket brokers to follow suit. True fans have been getting shut out of tickets for their favorite shows for too long and government is finally catching up with the technology that has kept these fans from those tickets.
Fans can support face-value ticket re-sale by using websites like cashortrade.org.