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Finally somebody is doing something about ticket-scalping bots

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StubHub

You know how, when you come to buy tickets online for an event, they’re sold out within seconds of going on sale? That’s not just hard luck, you’re being cheated.

Ticket touts are rigging the system with bots that enable them to snap up thousands of tickets at a time to sell them on at a huge profit on secondary market sites like StubHub.

Now, it appears someone, specifically the state of New York, is ready to do introduce measures that could level the playing field.

On Friday, the New York state assembly (via Engadget) voted in favour of measures to punish scalpers using bots to grab all of the best seats.

Those caught will now be assessed for a Class A misdemeanour meaning they’ll be liable to pay a $1,000 and could be sentenced to a year in prison.

The decision comes following a plea from the creator of the ultra-successful Broadway musical Hamilton, which is almost impossible to buy tickets at the original point of sale, for thanks largely to the scalper bots.

Reports have suggested scalpers had been making up to $20,000 a week from the scam, with tickets starting at over $1,000.

Lin-Manuel Miranda wanted the act classed as a felony and also for resale sites to list the original value of the ticket.

While New York isn’t being quite that strict, it’s a step in the right direction for consumers who constantly see themselves priced out of the most popular events due to inflated secondary market fees.

"New Yorkers have been dealing with this frustrating ticket buying experience for too long," said Assemblymember Marcos Crespo said.

"Countless have lost opportunities to experience the richness of our arts and entertainment industry because there are those willing to circumvent by using automated software to deprive the average consumer of access to entertainment venues.”

Let’s hope more states and nations follow New York’s lead.

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