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Legislature cracks down on bots used by some ticket re-sellers

ALBANY — A measure intended to crack down on “bots” and other practices used by companies that electronically scoop up massive amounts of tickets for sports, music and other events for resale gained final legislative approval Wednesday.

Under the measure, any reseller of tickets that knowingly uses bots or similar computer software to purchase tickets quickly from venues or owns or controls the software could have their ticket selling license suspended for up to three years.

The legislation also prohibits use of confusing names that could make resellers appear to be the operator or producer of an event and to clearly disclose all fees and surcharges, among other consumer protections.

“New York is home to some of the world’s premier artists, performers and sports teams,” said Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown). “This package is a major step forward for consumers and will help them navigate the often complicated process of ticket purchasing.”

Assemb. Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan), who sponsored the bill in that chamber, said consumers have been losing out on hot tickets by resellers who distort the market for profit.

Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), however, said the bill, which drew heavy lobbying from resellers, doesn’t go far enough. He said resellers should be required to divulge the face value of the tickets they sell at markups.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will now consider signing the bill into law or vetoing it.

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