PA 17-28—sHB 7114

General Law Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE SALE OF ENTERTAINMENT EVENT TICKETS ON THE SECONDARY MARKET

SUMMARY: This act places conditions on the sale of tickets to certain entertainment events, including generally prohibiting the sale of nontransferable tickets except through a paperless ticketing system that gives purchasers the chance to buy transferable tickets (e.g., paper tickets or e-tickets) at no additional cost.

It requires ticket sellers employing these systems to provide written secondary market (e.g., resale or trade) disclosure information to potential ticket purchasers, if applicable.

The act also prohibits anyone from denying a ticketholder admission to an entertainment event solely because the ticket was resold.

The restrictions apply to tickets for sporting events, concerts, and theatrical or operatic performances, but not for:

1. movies;

2. tickets sold or offered for sale to students of a public higher education institution for entertainment events held by, or on behalf of, the institution; or

3. concert or theater venues with seating capacities of less than 3,500 people, provided a duly authorized venue representative notifies the consumer protection commissioner in writing of the venue's intent to not comply with the act.

A violation of any of the act's provisions is deemed a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018

ENTERTAINMENT EVENT TICKETING SYSTEM

The act generally prohibits ticket sellers from using entertainment event ticketing systems that do not give purchasers the option to buy tickets that are transferable to anyone, at any price or time, without (1) additional fees and (2) the ticket seller's consent. However, ticket sellers may use a paperless system that does not automatically allow for independent transferability of tickets if, at the time of the initial sale, they offer purchasers the option to buy the same tickets in a transferable form.

BACKGROUND

Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA)

The law prohibits businesses from engaging in unfair and deceptive acts or practices. CUTPA allows the consumer protection commissioner to issue regulations defining what constitutes an unfair trade practice, investigate complaints, issue cease and desist orders, order restitution in cases involving less than $10,000, enter into consent agreements, ask the attorney general to seek injunctive relief, and accept voluntary statements of compliance. It also allows individuals to sue. Courts may issue restraining orders; award actual and punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorney's fees; and impose civil penalties of up to $5,000 for willful violations and $25,000 for violation of a restraining order.