flickr user antony griffiths
A new bill introduced in the South Carolina Senate aims to make online ticket scalping a thing of the past.
Sen. Margie Bright Matthews represents parts of Allendale, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper Counties.
All too often, honest fans hoping to purchase tickets online find that bots have snatched up every available seat within seconds of tickets going on sale. Those persistent enough can still usually find a spare ticket online, but only if they are willing to pay several times the original price. While it has long been illegal to sell tickets well above their original price person to person, that state law has never extended to online sales. State Sen. Margie Bright Matthews is hoping to change that.
Under Matthews’ new bill referred to the state Judiciary Committee last week, anyone caught selling tickets online for more than $1 above the original price would be guilty of a misdemeanor and face a fine of $100 or 30 days in jail for each offense.
The new bill comes just months after President Barack Obama signed into law the Better Online Ticket Sales Act, or the BOTS Act of 2016, which made it illegal to circumvent security or control measures used by online ticket sellers to ensure equitable consumer access to event tickets.
Earlier this year, the City Paper
looked at how the Charleston Music Hall combats online ticket scalping
. While venue owners have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to dealing with internet scalpers, the lack of any laws preventing scalpers from selling tickets at greatly inflated prices leaves vendors with little they can do to protect customers.