Cuomo Extends New York Ticket Sales Law

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By Alexis Kramer

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has again extended a state law governing ticket sales, one day before it was set to expire.

Cuomo June 29 signed Assembly Bill A 7701 to extend the existing law until June 30, 2018. Previously, Cuomo said he wouldn’t sign another extension unless the law was changed to address unfair ticket reselling practices. A Cuomo spokeswoman said work on the issue is ongoing.

“The administration continues to meet with key stakeholders to enact additional meaningful reforms, however, to date no consensus has been reached,” Abbey Fashouer told Bloomberg BNA June 30. “We will be convening all parties in July to advance more consumer protections.”

According to the state attorney general’s office, the simple extension wasn’t enough.

“The straight extender marks a missed opportunity to enact comprehensive reforms that would protect New York fans,” Amy Spitalnick, spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman (D), told Bloomberg BNA June 30. Schneiderman found in a 2016 report investigating the industry that only about 46 percent of concert tickets are reserved for the general public, with the rest going to industry insiders and nonpublic groups.

Schneiderman has been pushing for three primary changes to the ticket sales law: limit ticket holds and presales; ban brokers from selling tickets before they have them; and require ticket resale websites to provide a space where brokers can post their license information.

New York Sen. Daniel Squadron (D), a leading proponent of changes to the state’s ticket laws, had urged Cuomo to veto the extender.

“The chorus to Albany’s annual ticket resale extender has long been that next year’s the year to fix this broken law, but that year never seems to come,” Squadron said in a June 27 statement. “Yet again, fans are left with a love song to the ticket resale lobby that’s just plain off-key.”

Squadron sponsored a bill, S. 5178, in the 2017 legislative session that would have made comprehensive changes to the ticket sales law. It would have required, among other things, that online ticket resellers post the face value of tickets and the number of tickets available for sale. The bill died in committee.

Meanwhile, online ticket sellers lauded the extension. It will “maintain important consumer protections for ticket buyers, and allows for additional time to fully understand the effects that new technologies and other developments will have on the industry,” Darnell Goldson, TicketNetwork’s director of governmental and legislative affairs, told Bloomberg BNA June 30.

StubHub’s government relations senior manager, Laura Dooley, told Bloomberg BNA the company looks forward to “continuing to work with the Governor, General Assembly, and Attorney General to discuss those issues which affect the entire ticketing industry.”

A spokesperson for Ticketmaster didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

—With assistance from Gerald B. Silverman

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at aKramer@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bna.com

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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