By a 45-0 vote, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to pass the TICKET Act, as amended. In committee the bill was merged with the STOP Act. Now the bill represents a consensus package that will significantly reform the live event ticketing marketplace.
"The unanimous vote to pass the TICKET Act out of committee represents the single largest step to reforming a deeply broken market since 2016's BOTS Act." said Brian Hess, Executive Director of Sports Fans Coalition. "Chairman Bilirakis, Ranking Member Schakowsky, and Representative Armstrong have been stalwart champions for consumers of live event tickets, even against tremendous industry pressures. The TICKET Act has been expanded from its original version and is now the most comprehensive, bipartisan solution to be voted on in Congress. Sports Fans Coalition urges leadership to pass this bill expeditiously."
Sports Fans Coalition, through its partnership with the Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights has actively advocated for this outcome. Specifically the bill now provides fans with all-in pricing, bans deceptive speculative ticketing, bans deceptive websites, provides for refund requirements, and requires the FTC to study the scourge of ticket buying, bots, and how the Commission can better enforce the BOTS Act, as passed in 2016.
The ticket Buyer Bill of Rights is a set of principles the nation’s leading consumer protection and fan advocate organizations believe should serve as a framework for ticketing legislation that can improve the live events ticketing market that serves millions of fans each year. The Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights features five pillars:
The Right to Transferability, where ticketholders decide how to use, sell or give away their tickets if they wish and not the entity that previously sold the tickets;
The Right to Transparency, which includes all-in pricing and disclosures of relevant information for the purchasing decision;
The Right to Set the Price, so that companies who originally sold the tickets cannot dictate to fans for what price they can or cannot resell their purchased tickets;
The Right to a Fair Marketplace, where fans compete with actual humans, not illegal software bots, for tickets;
The Right to Recourse, where harmed fans retain the choice to seek remedies through the public court system and are not blocked by terms and conditions that force them into private arbitration.
While the TICKET Act doesn't include every provision of the bill of rights, it still remains the most comprehensive reform package to pass a committee and has been endorsed by a variety of other stakeholders.