The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB), which worked with nonprofit groups in 2009 against the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger, is planning to launch a new initiative to fight for laws regulating paperless ticketing, TicketNews has learned.
Details of the plan have not been disclosed, but according to industry insiders with knowledge of the effort, the NATB is going to be working with a new nonprofit group to help take the initiative national.
When reached today, February 8, Gary Adler, general counsel for the NATB, declined to offer any specifics about the initiative. “All I can say is that it is good news and a significant, positive event for the ticket industry.”
Last week, the NATB sent out an email to its members alerting them to participate in a webinar about the issue, originally scheduled for Wednesday, February 9. The note stated that the online event would “deal with a major and vital development in the ticket industry,” but it did not elaborate further. The webinar has since been rescheduled to February 22.
Paperless ticketing, where a fan enters an event by swiping a credit card or other form of identification at the gate, is being used by a growing number of venues and stadiums across the country. But, the practice also has led to problems with delays within the venue and difficulties transferring tickets on the resale market, or to friends or family members. Recent tours by Justin Bieber, John Mayer and Miley Cyrus, among others, have exclusively or in large part have utilized paperless tickets.
While acknowledging that paperless tickets can offer certain benefits to consumers, ticket brokers and companies like StubHub have been vocal critics of the difficulties in transferring such tickets.
Companies like Veritix, which sells a paperless ticketing solution to venues, makes the transferring of paperless tickets as simple as sending an email, but Live Nation’s Ticketmaster division uses a closed system, designed to limit or thwart the resale of such tickets.
Last year, New York became the first state to regulate paperless tickets, in part to counteract the Ticketmaster system, by requiring that traditional paper tickets be offered as a choice to consumers if paperless tickets were also going to be sold.
Since New York passed its legislation last summer, New Jersey considered a similar law, but the proposal stalled in the State Assembly.