In 2014, ticket bots scooped up more than 1,000 seats for a U2 concert.
They were then resold way above their original value. In fact, the same broker amassed over 15,000 tickets for U2’s North American Tour that year.
A similar thing happened last February when bots scooped up thousands of seats for a Bruce Springsteen show in Buffalo, NY – seats which soon appeared on a reseller website at a huge markup – frustrating thousands of fans.
It happens for just about every concert, musical or sporting event.
In an effort to reduce wild markups on event ticketing, New York State just banned the use of ticket bots by scalpers and brokers. There is no federal legislation regarding ticket bot use, but it is likely there will be soon.
What are Ticket Bots?
Ticket bots are types of software programmed to buy up as many premium seats as possible very quickly when event tickets are for sale online. Typically, tickets are resold at a significant markup. As of this publishing, 13 states have laws against ticket bots.
The Bots Act: It’s Coming
Rather than each state with unique bots laws, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee brought forth the Better Online Ticket Sales Act of 2014, which would “establish federal framework prohibiting the use of Bots in the United States.” The legislation would fall under the oversight of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Rep. Blackburn’s action drew praise from TicketMaster as well as StubHub, a reselling giant.
She also has a fan in New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who introduced legislation in his state with his report, Obstructed View: What’s Blocking New Yorkers From Getting Tickets, a 44-page examination of the ticket selling industry compiled over two years.
In Defense of Ticket Resellers
Instabill offers credit card processing services to several ticketing and ticket resellers. It is no secret that, upon purchase of event tickets, resellers markup the prices significantly (49 percent on average according to the report by AG Schneiderman).
What often goes unknown, however, is that ticket resellers will also reduce prices incrementally as the date of an event nears – if seats remain available.
For better or worse, the use of ticket bots has likely seen its most prosperous days.
Ticket Agencies Merchant Account Solutions
Instabill has long provided merchant accounts for law-abiding independent ticket agencies worldwide with domestic and international banking solutions. Upon receiving a complete application package, our merchant account managers can have your business accepting credit card transactions as fast as within a week.
Speak live with a merchant account manager about our ticket agency merchant accounts at 1-800-318-2713, or click the live chat option below.