A proposal that would have instituted new restrictions on Florida’s open-market ticket reselling law was shot down by a state House committee that decided to allow the unfettered market to continue.
The Florida House Committee on Agribusiness earlier today voted down a proposal, HB 675, that called for, among other things, a license system for ticket brokers; full disclosure of how many tickets are available to the public for particular events; and the banning of computer “bot” software that allows users to buy large blocks of tickets. Connecticut and other states are considering similar legislation to roll back some or all of its laws that allow ticket reselling, in light of the recent Hannah Montana tour where supply was scarce and prices were often exorbitant.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Florida committee vote was 5-3 and fell along party lines, with Republicans voting against the measure and Democrats voting in favor.
Two years ago, Florida lifted its regulations that outlawed ticket scalping or resale, which opened the market for brokers and others to openly resell tickets for any price. Some in the state have complained that an open market has led to increased prices for tickets to hot events, while others argue that with greater competition in the marketplace, prices have dropped.
“Isn’t this just free enterprise?” Republican State Rep. Ralph Poppell told the Sun-Sentinel. “People just have to pay the price or decide they don’t want to go that bad.”
Democratic House Minority Leader Dan Gelber, who sponsored the proposal, was frustrated when he could not secure tickets to a Hannah Montana concert for less than several thousand dollars. “No one should have to pay $5,000 to go to a Disney concert,” he told the Sun-Sentinel.