Lawmakers Looking At Whether To Make Ticket Scalping Legal

(WLNS) – There’s a good chance you’ve seen them either online or in person, scalpers, people either hoping to make extra cash or to simply sell a ticket last minute.

But in many cases it’s illegal.

On Tuesday that issue was taken up in a state house committee meeting and as Nick Perreault found out, the effect scalping has on consumers is the main concern.

“Our cars, our homes, if there is a willing buyer at your asking price the government doesn’t step in and say it’s illegal,” said Josh Hovey, Michigan Ticket Fairness, spokesman.

Josh Hovey represents the group Michigan ticket fairness and is in support of repealing current law

Which would make it *legal* for someone to sell a ticket above face value in person.

“When you think about what ticket scalping is, it’s two people engaging in a willing transaction.”

Repealing the current law Hovey says would allow for people to at least break even during a transactio, which is now illegal.

“There’s a price that comes with that ticket that’s not always reflected on the face value, things like taxes, shipping and handling fees, those mysterious convenience fees.”

“It’s a monopoly I would suggest that’s supportive by the state with this law,” said representative Tim Kelly (r), 94th District.

Republican representative and bill sponsor Tim Kelly sat before the House Criminal Justice Committee saying he’d rather see a free market.

“We think that’s not fair to the consumer because it will cause higher ticket prices and will expand the dishonest broker practices,” said Jarrod Bradford, director/ticket sales, Wharton Center.

But Wharton Center’s Jarrod Bradford believes passing this law would have people buying tickets from

A company and selling them online or in person at a high mark up.

“Brokers, we feel are stealing our identity, our intellectual property and our good name,” said Bradford.

And Bradford says that’s not his only issue with making scalping legal.

“Our fear is that artists will begin to avoid performing to Michigan if they can’t rely on venue managed consumer friendly sell method,”

A method that will continue to be debated in committee.

A vote on the scalping bill is expected in committee next week, if it passes it heads to the floor.

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