Fairness in Ticketing Act Passes in House Subcommittee, Senate Committee

Category: State Issues

House and Senate committees passed legislation this week to address the ongoing consumer protection issues surrounding the unregulated large scale ticket resale business in Tennessee.

The legislation 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 online 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 resell 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 legislation.

The bill (SB 609/HB 1000) requires any person who is in the business of reselling tickets to athletic and entertainment events for more than the face value to register with the Department of Commerce and Insurance as a ticket broker.

Ticket brokers would be required to disclose to customers the face value of tickets, the location of seats, and their applicable refund policies.  The status of the event must also be disclosed (whether it is sold out, etc).

Online ticket brokers would be required to disclose to customers whether a ticket offered for sale is in the reseller’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 House bill, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Haynes (R-Knoxville), passed out of the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee on a 6-2 vote.  The companion bill, sponsored by Sen. Ken Yager (R-Harriman), passed out of the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee on a 6-3 vote.

The legislation now goes to the Senate Calendar Committee.  In the House, it heads to the full Business and Utilities Committee.

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