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Congress passes legislation outlawing ticket bots

on December 08, 2016, 8:05pm

Just last week we reported that scalpers who use ticketing bots will, come February, face jail time in New York. Well, make that the whole country. Legislation banning the practice was passed by the Senate last month and the House just yesterday. It’s been sent along to President Obama, who no doubt understands how shitty it must be to get screwed out of a Springsteen ticket.

Ticketing bots are pieces of computer software that can scoop up thousands of tickets in mere seconds, resulting in those tickets being sold for an insane markup on third-party sites like StubHub. A report issued by the New York attorney general last January cited over 140,000 tickets to New York shows were scooped up by just three brokers between 2012 and 2014.

According to the bill’s Republican sponsor, Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, the legislation will “level the playing field” for those frequenting ticketing sites.

Under the bill, ticketing bots are considered “an unfair and deceptive practice” in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Whoever’s using them will be prosecuted accordingly, which should hopefully prove more helpful than your angry call to Ticketmaster.