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New York Gov. Paterson signs ticket scalping law extension

By Alfred Branch Jr.

A little over a week after the state assembly overwhelmingly approved the measure, New York Gov. David Paterson late Tuesday, June 9, signed the ticket scalping extension bill that allows free market ticket resale to continue for another year.

Following the 133-9 vote by the assembly to extend the law, Paterson's signature was all but inevitable, but his office and some legislators delayed the final signing while they tried to hash out some additional language.

According to sources with knowledge of some of the discussions, the legislators and Paterson's representatives debated how and when a report on ticket resale in the state would be completed, and which agencies might have subpoena power over the issue. Other related matters were supposedly discussed, but the exact details are unknown, and no changes were made to the bill as it was approved by the assembly.

Two years ago, then Gov. Eliot Spitzer signed the bill that made ticket scalping legal in the state, but it contained a sunset clause that expired on June 1, 2009. During the past two years, state officials were supposed to study the matter and issue a report about ticket resale, but it was never done.

The bill not only allows ticket scalping to continue without limits as to what brokers or others can charge, it also prohibits teams from revoking season tickets of fans who resell their tickets through channels other than the team; requires primary ticket sellers to disclose whether seats have obstructed views; and prohibits primary sellers from selling or conveying tickets through a secondary ticket seller that they own.

Discussions this week over whether to add more language to the bill quickly turned after state Senate Republicans successfully wrested control of the chamber in an unexpected coup, and Paterson was left with signing several measures while the Albany based legislature remains stalled.

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