Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

AG Schneiderman urges Gov. Cuomo to sign bill that cracks down on internet ticket scalpers

August 17, 2016

As published in the NY Daily News on August 12, 2016.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office Thursday wrote to the Cuomo administration urging the governor to sign a bill designed to crack down on ticket scalping.

The bill, which passed the Legislature in June, would increase civil penalties and make it a crime to use software known as “bots” that can purchase large amounts of tickets the second they go on sale.

The tickets are then typically re-sold by scalpers at a high-markup value.

Schneiderman Acting Chief of Staff Brian Mahanna in the letter to Cuomo counsel Alphonso David cited a recent report by the attorney general that showed that “bot-use is only part of the rigged ticketing game that deprives ordinary New York fans of the opportunity to obtain tickets on the primary market at a reasonable prices.”

Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said the bill is under review.

“But — as we previously said — we support a comprehensive pro-consumer reform of the ticketing industry, which will be a priority in the coming year,” he said.

In his letter, Mahanna said, “I look forward to working with your office and the Legislature toward additional solutions that will create a more fair, transparent, and affordable ticket market.”

Schneiderman’s report earlier this year found 54% of all tickets to hot concerts are set aside for industry insiders or presale customers before they are offered to the general public.

It also found that brokers looking to offer tickets way above face value often illegally deploy “bot” software that allows them to buy thousands within seconds of their going on sale.