Congress Passes Bill Outlawing Ticket Bots That Make Going To Shows Impossible
Congress did something! Even in a lame duck session, where you almost expect them to just make paper airplanes of proposed bills and throw them at each other for two months, the United States Congress decided to pass a bill. It passed a bill, which awaits President Obama's signature, to outlaw those damn ticket bots that always make it seem like your favorite shows sell out in less than one second, or a refresh.
The bots are used by sellers who rapidly purchase as many tickets as possible in a short period of time to then resell those tickets at a markup on the secondary market. This is how some shows seem to sell much quicker than one might expect and tickets appear on StubHub almost immediately.
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, the Republican sponsor of the bill, said the legislation will "level the playing field" for people who are trying to buy tickets.
"The need to end this growing practice is reflected in the bill's widespread support," Moran said via the AP.
The bill would make using such bots an "unfair and deceptive practice" under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The FTC would be allowed to pursue those cases. The Senate passed the bill last month.
The issue has started to attract lawmakers more recently. There have been Senate hearings on the issue recently and New York State passed a law last week that banned the practice. Now it is on the verge of becoming federal law.
This is an excellent first step to helping people buy tickets on a level playing field. We will see once the law is enacted how well it is enforced and how the cat and mouse game evolves between those who create bots and law enforcement.