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May 17 — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) announced May 16 that he has signed a bill ( S. 7181) to extend the state's current ticket resale law for a year and will be forming a working group to recommend further regulation of the industry, including the use of so-called ticket bots.
The announcement from the governor was his first public statement on the issue and comes as state lawmakers and the attorney general have been pushing for legislation to crack down on the use of bots—computer software used to purchase a large number of tickets in minutes ( see previous story ).
Cuomo's support could spur action on a comprehensive anti-bot bill by the Legislature before it adjourns its 2016 session on June 16.
Cuomo said he was disappointed that the Legislature failed to enact a larger bill, but declined to veto the measure because it would have caused “significant market disruption, inconvenience to consumers, and could potentially cost jobs.”
“It is clear, steps must be taken to properly inform consumers about ticket availability, and protect them against the intrusion of unfair technology employed by unscrupulous speculators for profit,” Cuomo said in a statement. “I will be forming a working group representing stakeholders, including advocates, regulators, and industry representatives, to study and make recommendations to be acted on before the law next expires on June 30, 2017.”
The current resale law has been extended several times since it was first enacted 2010, but Cuomo pledged not to sign another extended in 2017 unless the Legislature enacts additional changes.
Cuomo's announcement was welcomed by state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D), the chief sponsor of a bill ( S. 192) to regulate the industry. Squadron said he was hopeful that a bill will be passed this year.
“There's certainly time to move forward, while the governor's much more comprehensive look at this happens,” Squadron told Bloomberg BNA. “The most important thing that happened is the governor made clear: never again. Everyone's on notice.”
Assemblyman Thomas J. Abinanti (D), the sponsor of the S. 192 companion bill in the state Assembly, told Bloomberg BNA that he, too, would push for passage of legislation this session.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman (D), who is drafting his own bill after issuing a scathing report on the ticket industry earlier this year (21 ECLR 137, 2/3/16), said he will work with Cuomo and lawmakers on a bill “to address the scourge of ticket bots.”
“Fortunately, an entire month remains for the Legislature to act to protect New Yorkers from these abuses,” he told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail statement.
Don Vaccaro, chief executive officer of TicketNetwork, said “New York has an enforceable law that is already in place, as the Attorney General's enforcement actions prove.”
“Brokers from all over the United States want to relocate and operate in New York City, which can be the world trading capitol in entertainment tickets,” he told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail. “The threat of new legislation only makes that less likely to happen.”
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