Some supporters of the Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights have joined SFC in calling for Colorado Governor Jared Polis to veto Senate Bill SB 23-060, "Consumer Protection in Event Ticketing Sales.” Despite its name, Sports Fans Coalition, the National Consumers League, the Consumer Federation of America, Public Knowledge, Fan Freedom, and Protect Ticket Rights have demonstrated that the bill will actually harm consumers and proposed two amendments that would make the bill consumer-friendly. Once the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee added ticket holdback disclosures and mandatory bots reporting to the bill through amendment L033, these same groups then endorsed the bill.
Ticket holdbacks are deceptive. This is a well-documented problem that has been investigated by the US GAO, New York Attorney General, and the City and County of Honolulu. In many cases, venues will withhold more than half of the seats available but make consumers think that all of them are available. This deceptive industry scheme creates fake scarcity to induce a ticket-buying frenzy so that consumers panic, and in believing there are scarce tickets left, are compelled to buy now. Consumers without special or exclusive access to pre-sales are abused during the public on-sale of tickets where they may miss work and spend hours in an online waiting room only to be left with intentionally opaque options. When the true inventory of tickets is not presented to fans, they are not capable of making the best possible purchase decision.
Bots are also a major problem in the industry. However, they also serve as an easy scapegoat for Ticketmaster and AXS. These conglomerates blame bots for ruining the fan experience, but the fact is that federal law already prohibits the use of bots to buy tickets to events. What they don't want fans to know is that these laws have only been enforced once because these Ticketmaster and AXS would rather get paid by bots than report this criminal activity to law enforcement. It makes perfect sense to require primary ticket companies to report bots. They're fervent opposition to bots reporting begs the question, why would these victims of a crime not want to coordinate with law enforcement?" Maybe it is because Ticketmaster and AXS have misaligned incentives. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Ticketmaster Resale sales agents helped brokers who used bots circumvent Ticketmaster’s software to resell on their platform and double dip on fees. This self-preferencing scheme contributed to Ticketmaster’s $4.5 billion resale business in 2022.
Because these two vital protections were removed from the bill, the nation's leading experts and consumer advocates are calling on the Governor to veto the bill if it arrives on his desk. You can join the more than 2000 other Coloradans in calling for the veto, as well by filling out the form below.