An Indiana bill to ban non-transferable tickets was killed after it didn’t receive enough support in the House.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne), and it seemed like the legislation would garner enough support after it was passed by the House Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee last month. However, ticket fraud and technology complicated the issue of transfer-ability and in the expedited short session, Carbaugh was unable to work through the bill and find a compromise, the representative said.
“It’s an interesting issue, but there were a lot more questions than answers, ” Carbaugh told the Journal Gazette. “People feel very strongly about it one way or another.”
Carbaugh went on to note that tickets are consumer’s property and they should be able to transfer them however they choose. He explained that if someone is sick and unable to use a ticket, they should have the right to resell it, however, venues are moving away from the option of PDF tickets in order to escape duplicates and fraud. Carbaugh isn’t alone either; other industry executives, like Carl Szabo of NetChoice, are surprised at the opposition of the bill, noting that if it wasn’t important, the senior VP of Live Nation would not have attended the bill’s hearing.
During the hearing, Tom Mendenhall of Live Nation said “we strongly oppose any legislation controlling the distribution of our tickets,” noting that “legislative restrictions to ticketing would hinder our ability to be innovative.” Randy Brown, the general manager for Memorial Coliseum, echoed Mendenhall’s sentiments, calling the bill a “pro-scalper proposal” that “improves scalper access to our ticket inventory.”
The issue of non-transferable tickets has been looming over the ticketing industry the past few months after hundreds of fans were locked out of The Black Keys’ show in Los Angeles. Those who showed up with tickets purchased from secondary ticketing sites like StubHub were turned away at the door. Then, non-transferable tickets made headlines again after Pearl Jam announced they would end its longstanding battle with Ticketmaster and sell tickets to their upcoming Gigaton Tour strictly through the ticketing giant – with a rule prohibiting resale tickets.
Indiana is just one of the states working to adapt policies to safeguard the ability to transfer tickets, following suit of New York and Colorado.