Take That, Scalpers! Congress Just Passed A Bill To Help Lower Ticket Prices To Concerts & Other Events

It's about time online scalpers faced the music.

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If you want to watch the Yankees play the Red Sox, see The Boss in concert or catch Hamilton on Broadway, you have to be a) extremely lucky and b) you also have to make sure you’re online and ready to purchase at the exact time these tickets go on sale.

If you miss your chance to buy in real-time, chances are you can get tickets on a third-party resale platform like StubHub—but you’ll be charged a pretty penny.

Ticket prices have skyrocketed in recent years due to the influx of “bots” buying tickets the moment they’re released, then reselling those tickets at a much higher price. Ticketmaster has estimated that bots have been used to buy 60 percent of the most desirable tickets to many shows, according to the New York Times.

These virtual robots helps resellers buy out the best tickets before individuals can get them. Then, the resellers mark those tickets up by an average of 49 percent, according to the latest ticket sales report from the New York Attorney General’s office. In some cases, those tickets could be more than 1,000 percent above the retail price (the average price for Hamilton tickets is $2,394).

Recently, Congress stepped up to make sure life is a little more fair for all of us regular old humans trying to buy event tickets. The Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016 was passed by Congress this month. The bill makes it illegal to circumvent the security systems that enforce limits on how many tickets one “person” can buy. For instance, resellers could historically circumvent the CAPTCHA system that’s in place when buying tickets online, and now—as long as President Obama signs the bill into law—that will be a prosecutable offense.

When Lin Manuel Miranda, the man behind Hamilton, is saying this system is unfair, you know it’s a big deal. Thankfully, it looks like his efforts have paid off.

“With this soon-to-be-new law that will eliminate ‘bots’ and slap hackers with a hefty fine, we can now ensure those who want to attend shows in the future will not have to pay outrageous, unfair prices,” New York Senator Chuck Schumer said in a statement released by the New York Times.

This means that going forward, us regular folks will have greater opportunity to buy tickets to live events for around the retail ticket price from the original source and not a third-party. Of course, you’ll still have to act fast if you want to try to grab a seat to see Hamilton before they sell out.

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