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Law requires greater disclosure from resale sites and restrict speculative ticket sales

New York lawmakers have passed new restrictions on the secondary ticketing industry as part of a larger effort to bring transparency to ticket buyers. 

Senate bill 8501B, approved by the state legislature on June 20 in a 51 to 9 vote, now heads to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk for his signature. If Cuomo signs the law, as expected, ticket sellers like StubHub and Viagogo will have to post a notice on their website that tickets listed on the exchange are resale tickets and can be purchased elsewhere. The law is similar to new rules Google imposed on resellers earlier this year requiring new disclosures for those using the search engine's ad platform.

The New York takes things a step further and requires buyers to confirm they read the disclosure before they can check out and purchase tickets. The new bill is an update on a 2010 law that set restrictions on how tickets were resold, and has been extended several times without any major updates. 

Like the Google rules, the law also bans resell operators from using deceptive URLs and web addresses that contain the name of the event or venue. Other rules include a requirement that brokers post their ticket resellers license on their website and are now barred from selling tickets they don't have unless they inform the buyer. Listing tickets one doesn't have, commonly referred to speculative listing or shorting tickets, is a frequent source ire for consumers and touring shows who often see tickets for hot shows listed on sites like StubHub seconds after they go onsale. Many brokers don't have the tickets when they list them on StubHub, and are simply making a bet that they'll be able to procure the tickets at a lower price prior to the show.

Officials with StubHub said they supported the legislation and issued a statement from Laura Dooley, the company’s senior manager of government affairs saying the bill “takes comprehensive steps to protect New York fans and ensure they benefit from having a choice in a free and open ticket market." Officials from Ticketmaster did not release a statement.

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