The Senate Commerce Committee has advanced bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) to restructure ticket sale and resale laws.
“We are bringing accountability to an expanding realm of event ticket sales, which for too long and in too many cases has taken advantage of consumers by imposing ambiguous fees and creating an unlevel playing field,” Singer said. “This balanced legislation provides overdue consumer protections, introduces transparency into the ticket sale process and facilitates responsible ticket resales in a free market.”
Senator Singer’s S-875 includes the following provisions:
- It precludes ticket issuers from selling non-transferable paperless tickets, allowing purchasers to use, resell or gift tickets;
- It requires all ticket vendors, resellers or marketplaces to provide a fully refund buyers for tickets that do not grant entry to an event or for events that are cancelled.
“This bill addresses several secondary market ticket agencies and ticket exchanges that have recently surfaced on the Internet, where artists, promoters, teams or brokers resell event tickets at a premium price,” Singer noted. “There have been a number of reported instances where an artist has held a number of tickets for sale in secondary markets, costing consumers to pay well beyond face value.”
Among other stipulations, S-875 also:
- Requires ticket issuers to provide advance public notice of the total number of tickets to be issued, the number of tickets to be offered to the general public and the number of holdback tickets; the number of public tickets for each class, tier or level of admission; any service charge, premium or other fee applicable to the sale of tickets; and the time at which ticket sales for an event will commence;
- Mandates that advertisements for the initial sale of tickets, and the tickets themselves, would have to be marked with the initial price of the tickets, including itemized listings of any taxes, service charges and fees;
- Defines advanced public notice as at least 15 days prior to the initial sale of tickets at any place or website the tickets are sold by a ticket issuer or an owner or operator of an entertainment venue;
- Specifies that violators face fourth-degree criminal charges and penalties under the Consumer Fraud Act;
This bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.