September 12, 2016
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) helped pass the Better On-Line Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, which would ban the use of ticket bot software that allows individuals to circumvent purchase limits in online ticket systems, purchase tickets in bulk, and then resell them on third-party sites like Stubhub at extreme markups. The bill would also make it illegal to resell tickets acquired with this type of software. This practice often causes tickets for events to sell out at artificially high rates and has contributed to the rise in third party ticket prices for sporting events and shows.
“Resales and scalping have evolved into a separate and thriving industry that forces the public to buy tickets at many times their face value,” said Rep. Peters. “This fix will protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices by third party sellers and ensure that families have better access to face value tickets and are less likely to be barred from attending a performance because of price.”
"Arts organizations are constantly trying to keep ticket prices accessible, and ticket bots are a major obstacle for patrons,” said Michael S. Rosenberg, Managing Director of the La Jolla Playhouse. “We are proud to join Congressman Scott Peters in his effort to abolish this unfair practice that deeply hurts audiences, artists and cultural institutions alike."
Ticket bots are already illegal in 14 states, including California, and their use is subject to civil penalties. The BOTS Act would expand penalties for software users to include fines of up to $25,000 and allow victims of ticket fraud to bring civil action against sellers in a United States district court to recover damages.