Ticket scalpers in Missouri had their first major opportunity to legally resell tickets last week as the Big 12 Conference Championships descended on the state. However, despite the state legalizing ticket resale last year, several ticket scalpers learned the hard way that Missouri still has some rules pertaining to the resale of event tickets.

Missouri’s legalization of ticket resale has already sparked debate within the state, as Attorney General Jay Nixon spent a good deal of the final months of 2007 engaging the state in lawsuits related to the Hannah Montana ticket crisis.

At this time of year, college basketball is king with numerous regional and conference matches leading up to the NCAA Tournament that starts this week.

According to The Kansas City Star, the scene around the Kansas City Sprint Center was filled with a sea of scalpers, looking to buy and sell tickets for the high profile conference tournament. “As I drove in, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’” said John O’Hara, a fan at the games, as quoted by the Star. “I didn’t expect this at all.” But, as it turns out, the mass of scalpers was not quite as prepared as they should have been.

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While ticket resale is legal in Missouri and there is no restriction on the amount of money one can charge for a resold ticket, it is still illegal for an individual to resell a ticket to an event outside of the venue without a proper seller’s license. The offense is punishable by a $500 fine and/or six months in jail. Scalpers must also be aware of the classification of buildings, as the Sprint Center and the Power & Light District have declared themselves as private property, and as such, no tickets may be resold on their property according to Missouri law.

Outside of the Sprint Center’s property, several plain clothed police officers were called in to cite scalpers for doing business without a license, and according to several news sources, there was one confirmed ticket scalping related arrest, as well as several fines issued by the police for selling tickets without the proper license.

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