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Lawmakers Weigh Ending Michigan's Anti-Scalping Law

Thursday, March 26, 2015   (0 Comments)

Detroit News (03/10/15) Heinlein, Gary

Michigan House lawmakers are considering repealing the hardly-enforced criminalization of ticket scalping. Advocates of repeal say the statute worries people who need to resell tickets to events they are unable to attend. "Consumers should be able to recoup the full cost of their ticket if they need to sell it," argues Michigan Citizen Action executive director Linda Teeter. Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Mich.) has introduced legislation to remove a ban on the resale of tickets at higher than face value, similar to a proposal he sponsored that passed the House but died in the Senate last year. Also supporting the elimination of the resale ban is University of Michigan-Flint economics professor Mark Perry, who says "there's nothing troublesome, problematic, or shady about two willing individuals agreeing to a price for a product and engaging in a completely voluntary transaction. [It] happens millions of times every day when Americans buy and sell homes, cars and stocks, or bid for baseball cards." Opposing the repeal are about 16 event promoters and venues, with Michigan State University Wharton Center ticketing director Jarrod Bradford saying "theatergoers cheated by brokers are dissatisfied customers." He and other venue officials are concerned with the use of computer technology to grab large blocks of tickets to popular events by scalpers who sell them at inflated prices, often luring unsuspecting customers via websites masquerading as legitimate venue sites.

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