January 24, 2017
Contact: Cindy Hoang, National Consumers League, (202) 207-2832, email@example.com
Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s pioneering advocacy group, today announced its support for Virginia H.B. 1825, the Ticket Resale Rights Act. The bill, introduced by Delegate Dave Albo, would protect competition and consumer choice by prohibiting the use of ticket licensing terms that eliminate consumers’ freedom to sell, give away, or donate tickets as they wish. The bill would extend the same protections to Virginians that consumers in Colorado and New York currently enjoy.
In testimony before the Virginia House Committee on Commerce and Labor, John Breyault, NCL’s vice president of public policy, telecommunications, and fraud highlighted the impact that abusive ticket licensing terms have on consumers’ ability to buy and sell live event tickets.
“The increasing use of so-called ‘non-transferrable’ tickets as a way to control ticket scalping is a cure worse than the disease,” said Breyault. “Because events with non-transferrable tickets require attendees to show an I.D. and the credit or debit card used for purchase in order to enter the venue, these events may not be accessible for the 24.3 percent of Virginians who are unbanked or underbanked.”
Breyault also called attention to the anti-competitive effect of “restricted-transfer” tickets. “Make no mistake, primary ticketers like Ticketmaster do not want to prevent ticket resale; they want to control and profit from it,” said Breyault. “Through the use of restricted transfer tickets, companies like Ticketmaster seek to limit resale to ticket markets they control and where they, not competition, set the prices consumers must pay.”
NCL has long advocated for greater transparency, more choice, and stronger consumer protections in the live event ticketing market. Last year, NCL played a pivotal role in the passage of the federal Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016, bipartisan legislation that for the first time prohibited the use of ticket-buying “bot” software that allows unscrupulous ticket brokers to jump in line ahead of average fans and snap up hundreds or thousands of tickets to later be resold at exorbitant markups.
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.