A new proposal quickly winding its way through the Arkansas legislature would eliminate the speculative selling of event tickets, mandating that all tickets, except for sports tickets, cannot be sold until after they were first offered to the general public.
State Senate bill #966, which this week received overwhelming support in the Arkansas Senate, would affect internet ticket sales, but would be limited to non-sporting events held in the state.
Arkansas Sen. Larry Teague sponsored the bill, and he told TicketNews that the impetus for it were fans who had problems resulting from the “Hannah Montana” tour of 2007-08 for which some people allegedly bought spec tickets from some sites and were ripped off.
“This bill was designed to deal with that,” Teague said. The bill could be voted on by the state House of Representatives as early as Monday, March 16.
The proposed bill states, “Tickets of admission to a live entertainment event, theatre, musical performance, or place of public entertainment or amusement of any kind shall not be offered for sale by any person over the Internet until the tickets have first been offered for sale to the public via an event authorized outlet or offering.”
It continues, “Internet portals or websites shall not allow any person to offer for resale any ticket of admission to a admission to a live entertainment event, theatre, musical performance, or place of public entertainment or amusement of any kind until the tickets have first been offered for sale to the public via an event-authorized outlet or offering.”
Teague said he hadn’t thought about the possible affect the proposed law might have on fan clubs that offer tickets for sale to members before the general public, or theaters or venues that have season ticket subscriptions for events in their facilities. “They might not be able to continue that under this proposal,” he said.
The proposal cuts to the heart of the secondary ticket market and could radically alter how many brokers do business in the state, but Teague maintained that he was not approached by any lobbyists in support of the measure. Last month, Ticketmaster Entertainment settled a complaint with New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram over the handling of Bruce Springsteen tickets, and the company said its TicketsNow subsidiary would stop the practice of listing speculative tickets.