New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today released the results of a wide-ranging investigation into the concert and sports ticket industry. The investigation uncovered practices and abuses that prevent New York consumers from accessing tickets at affordable prices – or even accessing them at all.
Schneiderman also announced settlements with two ticket brokers that were illegally operating without a ticket reseller license. The businesses, MSMSS, LLC and Extra Base Tickets, LLC, have sold thousands of tickets to events in New York. The settlements require that the companies and their principals maintain a ticket reseller license and pay penalties for having operated illegally. MSMSS will pay $80,000 in penalties and Extra Base Tickets will pay $65,000.
The Attorney General’s office began the investigation in response to a series of citizen complaints. The report on the investigation, entitled “Obstructed View: What’s Blocking New Yorkers from Getting Tickets,” details the middle-men and troubling industry practices that work to keep affordable tickets out of the hands of ordinary New Yorkers.
“Ticketing is a fixed game,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to crack down on those who break our laws, prey on ordinary consumers, and deny New Yorkers affordable access to the concerts and sporting events they love. This investigation is just the beginning of our efforts to create a level playing field in the ticket industry.”
In a statement, New Yorkers for Fan Fairness, an anti-scalping group, praised Schneiderman.
“New Yorkers for Fan Fairness (NYFFF), a diverse statewide organization of New York citizens and organizations committed to developing and maintaining rights for ticket-buying New Yorkers, applauds Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s recent prosecutions and proposed legislation to crack down on unscrupulous scalpers that use illegal ticketing ‘bots.’ These actions benefit New York music, sports and theatre fans by creating fair access to tickets at the box office and reducing the number of tickets purchased with the sole intention of reselling them for high prices.”
NYFFF also urges the Legislature and General Schneiderman to be even more aggressive in support of local fans. A recent survey of New York registered voters, conducted by Zogby Analytics, found that:
82 percent believe that ticket sellers and venues should be required to report illegal bot use to law enforcement, and
85 percent believe that venues should do a better job enforcing ticket purchase limits.
“If venues and promoters do their part to enforce ticket limits and enforce against ticket bots, then New York fans will be better off,” the group said. “Additionally, General Schneiderman and the New York State Legislature should require teams, concert promoters, and venues to disclose the number of tickets for each event that are actually made available at list price to the general public, and ensure that those New Yorkers who purchase tickets have the ability to give away, resell or donate their tickets. More transparency, more enforcement and more fans’ rights – all of these would benefit New York ticket consumers.”