Ticket Resale Rights Act: Supporting Scalper’s Rights in Virginia
It’s a story played out in at least a hundred different Hallmark Channel or Disney Channel movies. One of the main characters has concert or game tickets, but because of the way the story is playing out, he or she needs to scalp those tickets – sometimes for a profit. He or she tries to sell them outside the arena, and that is when the undercover cop appears. Hilarity and/or drama ensues.
What if that story played out with a serious twist -- one that would never make it onto a made-for-TV movie? What if, however, it was actually real life?
Once upon a time, there was a man named Dave. Dave bought two tickets to see one of his favorite bands, Iron Maiden, only to realize that he could not attend the concert. He wanted to resell his tickets, but that is when he realized that the evil Ticketmaster made that impossible. His tickets could only be used to get into the concert if the buyer also presented a photo ID or the credit card used to buy the tickets.
In other words, Ticketmaster had made reselling those tickets impossible.
Dave, like most people in his situation, had to choose between two bad options. He chose to eat the money and miss out on the concert. Unlike most people, however, Dave could do something about it. He convinced the General Assembly to change the law.
The Ticket Resale Rights Act:
The Dave in this story is Dave Albo from Fairfax. The bill he created, and that the Assembly approved, went into effect on July 1st and did two things. First, it prevented ticket sellers like Ticketmaster from imposing rules against the reselling of tickets. Second, the new law made it illegal for people who buy tickets on the secondary market to be denied by a venue to attend the event. This new law put power back into the hands of the people – out of the primary market and into the secondary market.
In order to enforce a law, there has to be penalties. This law is no exception. Violators of the Ticket Resale Rights Act will pay a fine between $1,000 and $5,000.
Scalping Still Illegal:
It should be made clear that this law does not make scalping legal in Virginia. The Code of Virginia still gives localities the ability to make it unlawful to resell tickets for a profit to most types of events. Anyone caught scalping is subject to a Class 3 misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $500.
This may not seem like a significant consequence, but how freely can you give up $500? How comfortable would you be with a misdemeanor on your record? If you regularly read this blog, you know that you should make the most of your opportunity to appear in court. This applies to everything from traffic tickets and ticket scalping charges to major offenses like grand larceny and murder.
That is where an experienced defense attorney comes in. If you are in need of legal help, whether large or small, call or e-mail today for a free consultation!
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