Senate Passes Online Ticket Bot Bill

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By Alexis Kramer

Dec. 1 — The Senate has passed legislation by unanimous consent that would ban the use of illegal software called bots to buy up large numbers of event tickets for resale at inflated prices.

The Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016 ( S. 3183), by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), would also ban the sale of tickets knowingly obtained through the use of such software. The Senate passed the bill Nov. 30. It is unclear whether the House will act on the measure before Congress adjourns.

“Ticket bots have affected people across the country, and the need to end this growing practice is reflected in the widespread support in the Senate,” Moran said in a statement. “I hope to see the House act quickly to get this bill to the president’s desk.”

The bill is designed to address a long-standing issue in the ticket industry that restricts the public’s opportunities to buy concert or sporting event tickets at face value. In September, the House passed a related bill ( H.R. 5104) by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn).

Blackburn said in an e-mailed statement Dec. 1 that the Senate passage of S. 3183 is a “victory for consumers, sports fans and concert goers.” The legislation will “end the anti-consumer tactics and level the online ticket marketplace for our constituents,” she said.

A House Energy and Commerce Committee spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a Bloomberg BNA request for comment.

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

For More Information

Full text of S. 3183 at http://src.bna.com/iL4.

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