By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Many states are doing away with anti-scalping laws, but Arkansas currently remains as one of six states with such a law on the books. The others are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Kentucky, North Carolina and Michigan.

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What the future holds for The Natural State on this issue is up in the air. A March 22 House vote on HB1621, to amend 5-62-201 Concerning The Sale Of Certain Tickets In Excess Of Regular Price, was voted down in a 49 to 37 vote with 14 not voting, after read a third time. Whether the matter will come before the legislature again anytime soon is unknown.

The anti-scalping law became an issue, according to the Arkansas Times Record, when police arrested eight people accused of reselling LSU-Arkansas football tickets to a Nov. 24, 2006 game at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock that were found to be in excess of state law; tickets priced at $35 were being sold up to $400 apiece.

Those arrests motivated State Rep. Nathan George, a Democrat, to file the bill. He told the paper, “I think when you buy that ticket, that is merchandise that you own. I think you have a choice to do with it what you want.” George said he gave his pair of tickets to his niece. He also noted that he didn’t know any of those arrested.

The Arkansas anti-scalping law prohibits the resale of a ticket in excess of its face value for high school or college athletic events, events held for the benefit of charity, and any music events held in the state. Tickets for any music entertainment events cannot be sold at a greater price than that printed on the ticket or the box office sale price plus any reasonable charge for handling or credit card use, whichever is the greater.

Anyone found violating any provision of this section will be found guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, there will be a fine in any sum not less than $25 nor more than $500; every such sale or offer for sale will be a separate offense.

Arkansas’ anti-scalping law was first enacted in 1947.