On the last day of the legislative session in Albany, Democratic lawmakers are poised to adopt a bill that will provide some consumer friendly changes to the state’s live-event ticket regulations.
The legislation requires ticket sellers to promptly disclose the full cost of a ticket to consumers, as opposed to surprising them with fees when they’re about to complete a purchase, and directs companies reselling tickets to disclose how much a ticket was initially purchased for. Sen. James Skoufis, an Orange County Democrat, who has been pushing for reforms in the industry, said these changes are “very meaningful and first in the nation.”
Additionally, companies will be prohibited from charging delivery fees for tickets that aren’t physically delivered and it will be illegal to sell tickets that were initially handed out for free. The changes to the live-event ticketing regulations will take effect 60 days after the bill is signed, which is expected to happen in early summer, and will last until 2025.
The legislation doesn’t touch the gray area in state law over what constitutes a “reasonable” fee from ticket sellers. Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell, a Manhattan Democrat, has argued, as has the ticketing industry, that the market sets reasonableness based on what people are willing to pay.
Skoufis is opposed to this dynamic, arguing that it is counter to the legislature’s intent in adding the language to state law, and anticipates there will soon be conversations with the state attorney general’s office regarding their ability to police this issue.
“I think it’s high time that we took a look at really putting some guidance in place that will will create guiderails,” he added.
Tune in to The Capitol Pressroom on Friday for a full conversation with Skoufis about this issue, including how it was negotiated and what fell off the table.