Bills would crackdown on ticket scalpers, how tickets are resold

Two proposals at the Rhode Island State House would crackdown on ticket scalpers and restrict how consumers and others can resell sports and concert tickets.

State Rep. John Carnevale and state Sen. Dominick Ruggiero have introduced companion bills.

Similar bills have been introduced in Tennessee, Michigan and Florida.

"I do think that to some degree it will help the public learn more about tickets when they go on sale and to some degree it will curtail scalping," said Dean Budnick, who has written several books on the evolution of the ticketing.

While the bills are trying to legislate professional ticket brokers in the state, Burdick said it's difficult to determine the real face value of a ticket before it's sold.

"How do you define face value? And face value is very deceptive because there are so many fees that go into the ultimate price of a ticket and I don't think that's properly reflected," he said.

Ruggiero said his bill was submitted on behalf of the Providence Performing Arts Center after bogus tickets purportedly for a PPAC event were sold at several times face value from a website which impersonated them.

"Consumers arrived for an enjoyable evening in the city to find the tickets they had purchased for several hundred dollars were actually worthless," Ruggiero said in a statement.

But will the bills protect the consumer?

"Who doesn't want to pass a bill that helps consumers try to score tickets in an era when it's so exceptionally difficult and they cost so much," Budnick said.

Budnick said that libertarians would be against the bills because they limit the right of people potentially to re-sell their tickets.

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