Senate takes aim at 'bots' that snap up concert seats

Senate takes aim at 'bots' that snap up concert seats

"No ifs, ands or bots about it, now that the "BOTS Act" has passed the Senate, it's up to the House to sweep the stage of bots so that actual fans can enjoy "Hamilton", other hit Broadway shows and major concerts", said Schumer.

In New York, the use of such bots is already subject to a fine, but the new law aims to deter would-be offenders with harsher penalties.

Stars like Billy Joel and "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda - for whose shows tickets have been snatched up in mere seconds and then resold - have given their blessing to the legislation. Schumer's legislation would help fix the broken system of ticket purchasing. "These bots have gotten completely out of control and their dominance in the market is denying countless fans access to shows and concerts and driving prices through the roof".

In October, we reported that Ontario's attorney general is preparing legislation to outlaw so-called "scalper bots" - the software programs resellers use to buy large blocks of tickets faster than the average customer, i.e., the reason you didn't get to see The Tragically Hip.

Noting that the effort to get the new law on the books included support from Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman decried the way it's "become nearly impossible" to land tickets to top-tier shows without paying exorbitant markups, and applauded the state taking a step toward "finally bringing sanity - and fairness - to the ticket buying process". According to Ticketmaster, an estimated 60 percent of the most desirable tickets available for sale are purchased by bots. Interstate sales of bot-acquired tickets would also be made illegal.

Similar legislation has been introduced, but not enacted, at the Federal level.

In a voice vote on Wednesday, the Senate approved legislation created to improve consumer access to entertainment events such as concerts and musicals.

"I want theatergoers to be able to purchase tickets at face value at our box office and our website, rather than on a resale platform".

-Information from U.S. Sen.