Are there any laws regarding reselling tickets or inflating event prices? Ask the lawyer – Daily Breeze


Question: My daughter had early access to purchase concert tickets, but before she could pass the line, the available tickets were sold online through a box office at an inflated price. It’s so sad that normal humans who aren’t millionaires can’t get a reasonably priced ticket. Is there a ban on this?

-KS, Inglewood

Ron Sokol

A: California law provides a broad scheme of regulation in the Business and Professional Code with respect to the conduct of a “ticket seller”. The law prohibits, for example, the use of software that makes access to tickets unfair. Your daughter may be in the same boat as many others. If what has been done violates the ticket seller’s obligation to ensure fair access to tickets, it may have a claim, either by itself or possibly with others.

Question: Is it legal to buy tickets from a scalper in California?

-LN, San Diego

A: Scalping in California is not legal if: a) a person sells an entrance ticket to an event without the written permission of the owner or operator of the property where the event is taking place; (b) the seller has obtained the ticket to resell it for more than face value; or (c) the transaction takes place on or inside the venue of the event. Research suggests that it is the scalper who is being sued, not the buyer.

Question: How come scalping is illegal when online ticket sellers are not?

-DH Hawthorn

A: Ticket brokerage is permitted. If you buy tickets, you can sell them to a friend or upload them through a third-party secondary ticketing website. The online site simply sells the tickets you have purchased for a percentage of the sale price.

Ron Sokol is a Manhattan Beach lawyer with over 35 years of experience. His column, published on Wednesday, provides a summary of the law and should not be construed as legal advice. Email him your questions and comments at [email protected]

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