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Ticket Scalping

What is meant by ticket scalping? Is it illegal? Scroll down to know the answers to these questions.
OpinionFront Staff
If you love going to musical concerts or sports events, you surely might have bumped into ticket scalpers. Ticket scalping, also known as ticket resales, is the practice of buying tickets for such events and reselling them at a greater price. There are times when you fail to get tickets due to a delay on your part. Moreover, tickets for certain events sell like hotcakes. If all the tickets have already been sold by the sponsoring organization or the venue, and you cannot afford to miss this event, you may have to resort to buying tickets from ticket scalpers. If your favorite football team is playing and you couldn't get hold of the tickets, professional scalpers might come to your rescue. You might be wondering how these ticket scalpers get hold of so many tickets. Generally people who make money through reselling tickets, hire young people to wait for the ticket sales for any popular event to begin. So they make an original investment by hiring these people who wait in lines and get hold of as many tickets as allowed. Then, depending on the demand and supply factors, ticket scalpers make money by reselling these tickets at a higher price.

Is Ticket Scalping Illegal?

You might be wondering whether the practice of buying and reselling tickets has been legalized or not? Are there any laws to regulate this practice? There is no federal law that prohibits ticket resale in the United States of America, but different states have different approaches to handle the practice of buying and reselling tickets. You need to know the basic guidelines and the laws that states have come up with for tackling this issue. Some states prohibit the practice of reselling tickets to an event for profit. About 27 states have laws on resale of tickets. States such as Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania have laws to regulate this practice. For instance, there are laws that state the requirement of a special license to resell tickets. Some states have left the issue to the state municipalities. In North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Virginia, the state municipalities deal with the law enforcement and regulation for resale of tickets.

Ticket resale is prohibited in Connecticut. Some states have the provision of imposition of a service charge by the resellers. Some states have regulatory schemes for ticket resellers, whereby ticket scalpers need to register with the state. The state stays involved by keeping a check on their prices and refund policy. Some states allow the original seller to register with an authorized website for reselling the tickets. Along with the state laws, there are certain laws that curtail resale of tickets. For instance, this practice has been made illegal in raceways. In case you watch sporting events, you might have seen that scalpers are not supposed to resell tickets on the stadium grounds. You could sell tickets in places which are in proximity to the venue. Ticket scalpers might have to deal with consequences or action might be taken by officials, supervisors, security agents and event promoters if any law is broken. So if you wish to become a ticket scalper, you must find out about the state laws or local laws. You might face problems if you try to sell tickets in a place where it is prohibited.

Enforcement of Ticket Scalping Laws

When it comes to the enforcement of the laws on ticket resale, the difficulty arises due to the popular demand for tickets to such events. Moreover, there are tax paying websites that buy and sell tickets. In case, the official website for the event sells out, such websites cater to the demand of the interested buyers. The popularity of such events and craze among the people to get a chance to be a part of such events is the reason why resale of tickets has become a thriving business. Though ticket scalpers thrive on their desire to get monetary gain by reselling tickets at a higher price, certain risks are involved. If many tickets were bought in bulk and the demand for the tickets didn't meet up to the ticket scalpers' expectation, they might have to resell at lower prices. Whatever the case may be, ticket scalpers try to make as much money as possible. So, if you are dealing with one, you must be very cautious or a ticket to your favorite event might burn a big hole in your pocket.

If you have extra tickets to an event and are thinking of reselling them, do find out if reselling tickets is legal in your state. After all, it's always better to be safe than sorry.