Unrestricted Ticket Reselling Begins This Week
By Alfred Branch, Jr.
It may not be the first or the last state to do so, but on Oct. 1 Connecticut began allowing ticket brokers and individuals to legally resell event tickets in the state for whatever price they want.
Officials in the Constitution State this summer voted overwhelmingly to repeal its former law prohibiting ticket scalping, a move that was more than a decade in the making.
“A free and open market is friendly to the consumer,” said Ray Cooke, owner of the Connecticut-based brokerage TicketPro.com and a driving force in the repeal movement. “It breeds competition among ticket sellers, which will mean lower prices for buyers.”
Under the new law, there are no restrictions on how much someone can resell an event ticket, and brokers must refund a ticket buyer’s money, including service fees and delivery charges, when an event is cancelled, or if the ticket does not allow entry into the event for some reason. The new law also strengthens the punishment for the sale of counterfeit tickets and gives stadiums, arenas and venues a buffer zone of 1,500 feet, which means that scalpers must stay at least that distance away from the site when reselling tickets.
The state’s old anti-scalping law prohibited the resale of tickets for more than $3 above face value, and only brokers or agents that received written authorization from the event venue could resell a ticket above that price.
Cooke believes that with less restrictions, more brokerages will spring up around the state, in part due to the low barrier of entry that the Internet provides, which could help to make margins smaller, a positive for fans.
“This gives consumers a much bigger playing field with more outlets for tickets to choose from,” Cooke said.
Adjacent Massachusetts, in part due to Connecticut’s and New York’s actions this summer, is also looking at changing its anti-scalping laws to allow ticket reselling. A decision on that state is expected soon.