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Florida toughens up its ticket scalping laws to help consumers

By Alfred Branch Jr.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has signed into law a new ticket resale bill that requires Internet brokers to offer better guarantees, outlaws the sale or use of "bot" software, and makes it illegal to scalp tickets to charity events.

The bill, SB746, also aims to protect smaller venues with capacities under 3,000 from having tickets to their events scalped. There are about 14 of such theater-type of venues in the state.


As for the guarantees that brokers are now required to make in order to legally be able to resell tickets, the law now states that Internet brokers clearly post the following:

The website operator guarantees a full refund of the amount paid for the ticket including any servicing, handling, or processing fees, if such fees are not disclosed, when:

-The ticketed event is canceled;
-The purchaser is denied admission to the ticketed event, unless such denial is due to the action or omission of the purchaser;
-The ticket is not delivered to the purchaser in the manner requested and pursuant to any delivery guarantees made by the reseller and such failure results in the purchaser’s inability to attend the ticketed event.
-The website operator discloses that it is not the issuer, original seller, or reseller of the ticket or items and does not control the pricing of the ticket or items, which may be resold for more than their original value.

The new law takes effect July 1. Last year, the Florida legislature killed similar ticketing rules while officials further studied the issue.

With Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville as it largest markets, Florida has a robust sports and concert business. And the popular Crist, who recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, signed the bill partly because he wants to be known for helping consumers in a state with unemployment above 10 percent.

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