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Bipartisan act seeks end to ticket scalping bots

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(The Center Square) – Ticket bot operators could be in trouble based on Michigan’s proposed new “Taylor Swift” bills that would combat ticket reselling schemes as seen during the artist’s recent Eras Tour.

House bills 5661-5662 would allow the attorney general’s office to pursue those guilty of violating ticket purchase limits with a fine of $5,000 per ticket. The bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Graham Filler, R-Duplain Township, and Rep. Mike McFall, D-Hazel Park.

“This affects anyone that goes to buy tickets,” McFall said. “You’re a family, you go to buy tickets and you can’t afford to buy the tickets because now they’re on a resale site at a much higher price, often priced out of reach for families.”

After passing in the House Regulatory Reform Committee, the bills will now move to the full House. If the package passes, it will follow in the footsteps of Arizona’s recent legislation signed by Gov. Katie Hobbs in April.

“The goal is to put a stop to these unfair practices, ensuring that tickets are accessible and affordable for everyone in Michigan,” Filler said. “Our plan takes a needed step toward fairness and transparency, ensuring that people can access the events they love without being gouged. By making our state more event-friendly, we can also boost tourism and attract more people to our festivals and events, ultimately strengthening our economy.”

While Ticketmaster has apologized for the scalping issue seen last year, questions are still being raised about how much action has been taken to prevent future incidents like the Eras Tour, when tickets were sold out in just minutes, primarily by reselling bots.

“We need to put an end to the exploitation and greed that has plagued event ticket sales for far too long,” Filler said. “Our plan strikes directly at the heart of these unscrupulous ticket bots that rob fans of the chance to see their favorite artists and drive prices to outrageous levels.”

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