Paper tickets will be a required option for anyone buying an e-ticket in Connecticut according to a new law signed by the state’s governor this week.
The new law, HB7114, or “An Act Concerning the Sale of Entertainment Event Tickets on the Secondary Market,” was signed by Gov. Dan Malloy on Wednesday.
The law will require that all event venues that sell online, electronic tickets also make available printed, paper tickets to the consumer, or make it possible to transfer their ticket to someone else without restrictions.
“This new state law will give people choices when purchasing tickets. It also seeks to prevent against problems when entering a venue if an individual has a ticket that was resold to them,” says Connecticut State Senator Kevin Witkos (R-Canton), the Deputy Senate Republican Pro Tempore, according to a statement released by that office Wednesday. “This is consumer friendly legislation that updates state law to apply to modern technology and practices of purchasing tickets online.”
The law requires event venues to make available for all ticket purchasers who request one a paper ticket or transferable electronic ticket and that the ticket be transferrable at any time. There are exceptions, of course, including movie theaters and venues with a capacity of less than 3,500 people.
The legislation has been praised and welcomed enthusiastically by Gary Adler, executive director and counsel for the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB).
“This new law will protect consumers from unfair and restrictive practices that companies like Ticketmaster and others in the primary ticket market employ to restrict the purchase, sale and transfer of purchased tickets,” Adler says in a statement released Wednesday. “These restrictions lead to a market with less choice and higher prices and we applaud the Connecticut Legislature and Governor Malloy for protecting ticket rights. This important new law will stop practices like restricted paperless ticketing that harm consumers and the function of a fair and level secondary resale market for tickets.”
Adler goes on to say paperless ticketing was originally introduced as a way to combat fraudulent tickets and help protect consumers, but “fraud on resale exchanges is not a pervasive problem. While paperless on its own is perfectly fine as a convenience, in practice there are usually restrictions that are designed to prohibit or limit the ability to resell tickets. It is just one example of how large, powerful players in the ticketing system overreach and this legislation will help loosen their chokehold and protect consumers.”
Through the new law, it’s illegal for companies to provide tickets through a single method which, in turn, prevents those customers from reselling their ticket in any manner of their choosing.
Earlier this year, the Virginia legislature, led by Del. Dave Albo (R-Springfield) similarly enacted legislation prohibiting ticket sellers and venues from disallowing the sale of tickets without going through a designated secondary market site first. Albo argued that a ticket he purchased should be viewed as his property to do with as he saw fit and not subjected to any restrictions or limitations placed on ownership or reselling of that ticket by Ticketmaster, Live Nation or any other entity.