Updates to the New York ticketing law for live events were signed into law this week by Gov. Kathy Hochul, bringing several changes to the arts and cultural affairs laws of the state that will be in place through at least 2025. Changes to the current ticketing ecosystem in New York include a requirement that sellers use “all-in” pricing that disclose all fees up front, the disclosure of a “face value” on the tickets being sold, and higher penalties for those found to be using illegal “bot” programs in the state.
“Live entertainment has long been a critical sector in our economy, and as consumers and the industry recover from the pandemic, it is important that we make the ticket-buying experience easier and more transparent,” Governor Hochul said. “This bill will expand penalties for malicious ticketing practices that have made live events inaccessible to New Yorkers for too long. Today, we are taking an important step towards ensuring that every New Yorker has a fair opportunity to enjoy the unique arts and cultural experiences that our state has to offer.”
The state legislature passed the updates in June, with the changes to the existing ticketing laws evolving out of a 2020-21 legislative investigation led by Sen. James Skoufis (D). Sen. Skoufis had championed a number of additional consumer-friendly updates to New York law when his bill was initially drafted in 2021, but most did not make it through the lobbying process, which see companies like Live Nation Entertainment spend enormous sums to make sure its marketplace dominance aren’t challenged.
“While there’s still more work to be done to ensure the live event ticketing industry is fully accountable to its customer, I am proud of the work we accomplished this year to eliminate hidden fees, ensure all-in pricing, fight bots, and several other measures to inject some honesty into the ticket-buying process,” Sen. Skoufis says. “The rules of the game for ticket retailers were set before the internet even existed–a fact that’s become exceedingly clear as mega ticket sellers have used those rules to rip off consumers in the wake of COVID cancellations — and New York is leading the way on reforms nationwide. I thank the Governor for signing this important bill and helping to keep more money in consumers’ pockets.”
“New York is the epicenter of the entertainment world, and making sure artists, performers, and venues can reach fans and sell tickets is essential to their success,” added Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, who led the legislation in its passage through that chamber. “I am very proud of this legislation, which creates a fair playing field for all those in the industry, adds important new consumer protections, and makes sure that fans and event goers have access to tickets for all the events they want to see. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill, and all those involved in shaping this important legislation. For shows big and small, and from theater to music to sports and more, this legislation keeps live events in New York booming, and ready to step back into the spotlight.”
It is unclear how companies serving consumers in New York will implement some of the changes – particularly the face value one. In the current ticketing world, the concept of “face value” has become increasingly outmoded, as primary ticketing agents and rights-holders have shifted to a “dynamic” ticket pricing model that often alters ticket pricing in real-time, pushing values sky-high at moments of peak demand, including the use of “platinum” pricing that has helped Live Nation’s revenues shatter records in recent quarters.
Last Updated on July 1, 2022