Five months after the law allowing for unfettered ticket resale went into effect in the state, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is proposing new restrictions on ticket brokers and others by limiting the amount they can charge customers for tickets sold at the secondary level.
In addition, the Attorney General would like to see the current law amended to require venues and promoters to release a minimum of 75 percent of the tickets available for an event, which would likely put an end to the problems that arose from the Hannah Montana ticketing mess where promoters and venues were withholding large blocks of tickets from the general public.
Blumenthal, long an opponent of the law that allows for an open market for ticket resale, told the Connecticut Legislature’s General Law Committee Tuesday that he has spoken to numerous “dumbfounded and outraged” parents, concert-goers, police officers and others who have complained that there is no longer a limit on how much brokers and other sellers can charge for resold tickets.
Throughout 2007, several states in addition to Connecticut, amended their ticket reselling laws to open up the market to reflect the progress made by the Internet leveling the playing field for tickets. But almost as quickly, states began looking at ways to chip away at the changes as residents began complaining of being shut out for Hannah Montana or World Series tickets.
“I can appreciate the effort to reform or improve the [previous] law,” Blumenthal told the committee, which only last summer unanimously approved the change to open up the ticket resale market in Connecticut, “but it now leaves consumers without protections.”
The state’s old ticket scalping law prohibited the any event ticket being sold for more than $3 above face value, but the state’s legislature overwhelmingly approved a repeal of that law to better reflect the realities of the current Internet Age, where enforcement of that law was next to impossible.
Blumenthal wants to see a cap imposed on tickets where brokers and others can only charge 50 percent above face value. “A 50 percent mark-up guarantees an ample profit for the ticket reseller and encourages show producers to reasonably price tickets to concerts and sporting events,” he said.
The Connecticut Legislature’s General Law Committee was scheduled to begin discussing Blumenthal’s proposals today during a public hearing and decide whether to move forward with a bill some time within the next several weeks.