New legislation targeting hidden fees and predatory “anti-consumer ticketing practices” in New York State’s live event industry, including theater, sports events and concerts, was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
“Live entertainment has long been a critical sector in our economy, and as consumers and the industry recover from the pandemic, it is important that we make the ticket-buying experience easier and more transparent,” Hochul said in a statement. “This bill will expand penalties for malicious ticketing practices that have made live events inaccessible to New Yorkers for too long.”
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Hochul called the legislation “an important step towards ensuring that every New Yorker has a fair opportunity to enjoy the unique arts and cultural experiences that our state has to offer.”
The law is designed to increase transparency for consumers purchasing tickets to live events, banning hidden fees and expanding penalties for use of “scalper bots and ticket purchasing software.” The legislation also outlaws the sale of free tickets and prohibit delivery fees on tickets that are delivered electronically or printed at home.
Referred to as the state’s Ticketing Law, the legislation extends and updates the existing regulations, and was prompted by a 2020-21 legislative investigation into the state’s live event ticket industry over concerns about “potentially unfair, deceptive, and anti-consumer practices occurring in the primary and secondary markets,” according to Hochul’s office.
The law increases civil fines for the use of ticket purchasing software and requires sellers and resellers of tickets to disclose the total cost of a ticket “clearly and conspicuously.”
State Sen. James Skoufis said, “While there’s still more work to be done to ensure the live event ticketing industry is fully accountable to its customer, I am proud of the work we accomplished this year to eliminate hidden fees, ensure all-in pricing, fight bots, and several other measures to inject some honesty into the ticket-buying process.”
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