Fairness in Ticketing Act Delayed in Committee

House and Senate committees delayed action on legislation this week to address the ongoing consumer protection issues surrounding the un-regulated large scale ticket re-sale business in Tennessee.

Generally, the legislation (SB 609 by Sen. Ken Yager/HB 1000 by Rep. Ryan Haynes) is designed to provide significant consumer protection measures to prospective ticket buyers. There is currently an active market and practice of ticket speculation, price mark-up and misinformation to on-line ticket buyers due to a lack of registry and regulations.  The bill applies only to persons “in the business of reselling tickets,” and only impacts persons who re-sell over 60 tickets per year.

A coalition of nearly every major athletic and entertainment event venue in the state, including The University of Tennessee, Bristol Motor Speedway and others are advocating for the bills passage.

HB1000 / SB0609 requires any person who is in the business of reselling tickets to athletic and entertainment events for more than the face value of the ticket to register with the department of commerce and insurance as a ticket broker.

The bill provides several consumer protections to ticket buyers, such as: requiring ticket brokers to disclose the face value of tickets, the location of seats, and their applicable refund policies.  It also requires online ticket brokers to disclose whether a ticket offered for sale is in the re-seller’s possession and available for delivery and, if not, the period of time when the reseller expects to have the ticket in hand and available for delivery.  The bill requires the person reselling the ticket to disclose the status of the event: whether it is sold out, and so on.

A licensed ticket broker who violates the requirements of this bill would be subject to revocation of the broker’s registration. A knowing violation of this bill by any person will be a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fine. Additionally, this bill authorizes the attorney general to investigate and remediate violations of this bill pursuant to the consumer protection laws of Tennessee.

This bill does not prohibit the resale of tickets in areas designated by event organizers and venue operators. Additionally, this bill does not prevent event organizers and venue operators from utilizing any ticketing methods for the initial sale of tickets.

This bill was placed on the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee calendar for 3/5/13, but was rolled one week.  It was also delayed one week in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.