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Mich. Senate Panel Hears Pros, Cons of Making Ticket Scalping Legal

Thursday, June 26, 2014   (0 Comments)
Detroit News (06/11/14) Heinlein, Gary

Legislation to legalize ticket scalping passed by Michigan's House was criticized by venue operators at a Senate committee hearing, who warned the measure would encourage more rip-offs and customer unhappiness. The state's ban on ticket scalping has been in effect for 83 years, but Rep. Tim Kelly says it is outdated and rarely enforced, and technically outlaws consumers from recouping what they paid or profiting from tickets they purchase, even when they cannot use them. Lansing resident Ryan Harmon says he supports legalization because ticket holders who wish to resell unwanted tickets at higher than face value must get permission from the venue or go through an approved outlet such as Ticketmaster, which assesses a fee that adds up to a loss for the seller. Also in favor of the bill is ticket broker Joel Schwartz, who contends venues, artists, agents, and promoters collude to control ticket prices and supply. Opponents of the proposal such as Wharton Center marketing director Diane Wilcox say making scalping legal will send a message that there are no checks on unprincipled brokers who buy up blocks of tickets and resell them at vastly inflated prices. The Senate's Government Operations Committee heard testimony on the bill but did not take action on it.

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