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NJ Ticket Bill Advances

03:01 PM Tuesday 10/16/12 | |

A consumer protection-focused ticketing bill in New Jersey has advanced through the state’s Senate Commerce Committee.

S-875 would revise current law in the state to prohibit restrictive paperless ticketing and protect consumers’ rights to resell tickets on the secondary market.

Bill sponsor Senator Raymond Lesniak explained his measure would give fans ownership of the tickets they purchase and ensure they’d be able to give away, donate or sell tickets as they please.

“Restrictive paperless ticketing is a way for ticket issuers to control the secondary ticketing market and to stifle competition from independent resellers and resale marketplaces,” Lesniak said. “By ending this practice in New Jersey, we can ensure that consumers have the right to do with their purchased item – the ticket – as they wish.”

Officials in the concert industry have balked over the matter, however.

Wayne Hasenbalg, CEO of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, told NJBiz.com a coalition of venues in the state “have all united together to work out our logistical concerns associated with this legislation, because we’re the ones on the front lines making sure tickets are issued properly.

“We understand the intent and what this bill is attempting to address, and we don’t necessarily oppose that, but there are practical consequences in what’s set forth right now,” he said.

Lesniak’s bill would also ban the use of bot software, require venues and promoters to disclose any fees associated with a ticket price and require them to advertise the number of tickets available to the public in each tier of a show.

Under the law, venues or promoters that hold back tickets for direct sale on the secondary market would presumably get dinged with a violation of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act, which can include minimum fines of $10,000.

S-875 heads next to the state’s Budget and Appropriations Committee for further review.