You may be unfamiliar with what a Class A misdemeanor is, so let me give you a quick overview. Class A misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor in most states, which means someone who is convicted of one can face jail time and hefty fines.
On Monday, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo singed into law a bill that makes the use of ticket bots a class A misdemeanor. This means as of February 2017, scalpers who use ticket bots can be tried and convicted of class A misdemeanors in the state of New York, and possibly sentenced to jail time.
You may have experienced ticket bots when trying to be the first to buy tickets to an upcoming show or festival. Many times, all the tickets sell out within minutes. That’s thanks to ticket bots run by scalpers. Those scalpers then take those tickets and sell them in secondary markets at double or even triple the original price.
Cuomo, who’s had enough, said, “These unscrupulous speculators and their underhanded tactics have manipulated the marketplace and often leave New Yorkers and visitors alike with little choice but to buy tickets on the secondary market at an exorbitant mark-up,” a clear demonstration of his frustration and why he signed the bill.
A report came out that further demonstrated the abuse of the market by ticket bots, citing three brokers to be the purchasers of 140,000 tickets to New York shows between 2012 and 2014. This is the right step for New York in ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to pay fair prices for shows they want to see. Hopefully other states take note and follow suit.
Source: Consequence of Sound