New York Legislature Agrees on One-Year Extension of Existing Ticketing Laws New York Legislature Agrees on One-Year Extension of Existing Ticketing Laws
Ticketing for live event tickets in the state of New York will remain at the current status-quo, for at least one more year. Senator... New York Legislature Agrees on One-Year Extension of Existing Ticketing Laws

Ticketing for live event tickets in the state of New York will remain at the current status-quo, for at least one more year. Senator James Skoufis and Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell issued a joint statement Monday afternoon indicating that they had agreed in principle to a one-year extension of the existing Arts & Cultural Affairs law that governs ticketing in the Empire State.

The agreement ends a stalemate that saw the Assembly pass a 3-year extension of the existing laws on the books while Skoufis was pushing for a new bill that included a number of revisions designed to improve the regulatory landscape for consumers in the state. Had such a deal not been reached prior to the session ending, the existing laws would have been wiped out at the end of the month.

Now, rather than see existing protections for consumers expire, this deal buys time for a more comprehensive review of proposed changes as live events come back online across the state.

“Previous negotiations of the state’s ticketing laws, including the most recent in 2018, have seen the Assembly lead the way on pro-consumer reforms,” the joint statement from the lawmakers reads, in part. “With a new majority partner on this issue in the Senate, we are intent on reviewing the current state statute to make New York the indesputable leader in fan-friendly ticketing practices. That’s why we will advance a temporary, one-year extension to allow for a comprehensive vetting of proposed refors, including those recommended in the Senate’s recent investigative report on the topic. In the months ahead, the Senate and Assembly will begin to thoroughly and deliberately work through the many issues surrounding ticketing, including hosting a joint hearing or roundtable later this year.”

New York has been a leader over the past several years in taking a pragmatic look at ticketing, installing certain consumer-friendly practices that help guard against the most notorious practices employed by event and venue operators and ticketing vendors. Among them are a requirement that consumers be offered a freely transferrable delivery option for tickets, a ban on cancelling tickets specifically because they have been resold, and requiring certain bonding and licensing for professional resellers in the state.

After an investigation into ticketing that was compiled and released earlier this year, Skoufis introduced new legislation that added a number of new protections, and clarified some existing issues with the Arts and Cultural Affairs law as it stands today. A number of consumer groups applauded the legislation and pushed for its passage, but with time running short on getting a passed bill to the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature, the decision was made to table those improvements for another day.

On Monday, Skoufis introduced S7197, which is the one-year extension of the existing laws. It is currently under review by the Rules Committee. O’Donnell’s Assembly bill – A03861 – was recalled from the Senate Monday, presumably to see its alteration from a 3-year extension of the status quo to a single year to match the new Senate bill.

“We are dedicated to making certain New York is positioned for an unconditional comeback and we share a steadfast belief that our state’s consumers deserve world-class entertainment at affordable fair prices,” the joint statement concludes. “To that end, we are committed to ensuring that New York is a fan-friendly leader at this most critical time.”

The full joint statement is available below:

Senator Skoufis and Assemblymember O’Donnell Reach Agreement on Live Event Ticketing

Senator James Skoufis, as Chair of the Investigations & Government Operations Committee, and Assemblymember Daniel J. O’Donnell, as Chair of the Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development, issued the following joint statement:

“We are committed to a safe and full recovery by the live event and entertainment industry in the months ahead. As New York’s shining example of artistic and economic output, Broadway’s projected September reopening is a particularly exciting signal that the state is well on its way to a post-pandemic recovery.

“As we look to the summer and fall, our state’s entertainment community – who have been hit particularly hard throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic – will navigate reopening as they also contend with financial losses, new and evolving safety protocols, rebuilding their workforce, and numerous other challenges. And while we are sensitive to the needs of industry players during this complicated time, werecognize the equally important need to improve the primary and secondary ticketing markets to ensure New Yorkers – who have been anxiously awaiting a return to their favorite concerts, theater, and sporting events – have ready, affordable, and fair access to tickets.

“Previous negotiations of the state’s ticketing laws, including the most recent in 2018, have seen the Assembly lead the way on pro-consumer reforms. With a new majority partner on this issue in the Senate, we are intent on reviewing the current state statute to make New York the indesputable leader in fan-friendly ticketing practices. That’s why we will advance a temporary, one-year extension to allow for a comprehensive vetting of proposed refors, including those recommended in the Senate’s recent investigative report on the topic. In the months ahead, the Senate and Assembly will begin to thoroughly and deliberately work through the many issues surrounding ticketing, including hosting a joint hearing or roundtable later this year.

“We are dedicated to making certain New York is positioned for an unconditional comeback and we share a steadfast belief that our state’s consumers deserve world-class entertainment at affordable fair prices,” the joint statement concludes. “To that end, we are committed to ensuring that New York is a fan-friendly leader at this most critical time.”

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