As one of the six remaining states in the country observing anti-scalping laws, a repeal of Kentucky’s law does not appear to be in the Bluegrass State’s future any time soon.
In October of last year, a federal appeals court ruled that Lexington’s anti-ticket scalping policy was justified; Kentucky’s anti-scalping law, in general, prohibits the resale of a ticket in excess of its face value for all entertainment events held in the state. The other remaining states with anti-scalping legislation on the books are Arkansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island and North Carolina.
Craig A. Wilson of Paris, KY, was among 20 people arrested Jan. 5, 2006 outside Lexington’s Rupp Arena for selling two University of Kentucky basketball tickets within two blocks of the arena, a violation of an ordinance that prohibits peddling in certain areas near the arena two hours before and one hour after ticketed events there.
The two purchasers turned out to be undercover Lexington police officers, who charged him with violation of Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Ordinance § 15-1.1, which prohibits peddling within the area bounded by the streets that surround the arena and parking lots, even though Wilson was selling the tickets for less than face value, according to the putative class action he filed against the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. In the lawsuit, Wilson contended that he is not a “peddler” because “he was involved in a one-time ticket sale and would make such a sale again only, at most, on a sporadic, spontaneous basis, as opposed to engaging in an on-going enterprise or ‘occupation.’”
Wilson claimed that the city’s interpretation of the ordinance is “constitutionally flawed because it criminalizes non-occupational peddling.” The city countered that by pleading guilty to a violation of the ordinance, Wilson now precluded himself from denying that he was subject to the prohibition in the ordinance.
The judges wrote: “Wilson’s claim is further weakened by the fact that he pleaded guilty to a violation of the ordinance, thereby conceding, as one of the elements of the offense, that he was a peddler.”