DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis vetoed a bill concerning consumer protections in event ticket sales Tuesday.
Senate Bill 23-060 or the “Consumer Protection in Event Ticketing Sales” bill would have amended consumer protection law regarding ticket sales and resales for events.
According to a veto letter from the governor, consumer advocacy groups including the National Consumers League and Consumer Federation of America asked for a veto of the legislation, and “the bar for any changes to laws in this area is very high.”
The “Ticketmaster bill” would have permitted live event ticketing giants like Ticketmaster and AXS to deceive ticket buyers with a false scarcity of tickets as well as ignoring illegal bots that claim tickets before humans can without reporting it to law enforcement, according to a press release from Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights.
Though Polis said the bill once had enough positive provisions to shift its balance to the consumers, those provisions were removed and he was “concerned that this legislation strengthens an existing entity with too much market power.”
Benefits of SB 23-060
Polis said he supported parts of the bill as it disallowed a venue from denying access to a person with a valid ticket because their ticket was resold to them, and would have classified bots buying excessive tickets as a deceptive trade practice.
It also would have prevented sites from displaying a trademarked or copyrighted URL when selling a ticket, deceiving consumers to believe they are purchasing a ticket from said URL source.
And finally, it would have required price transparency of the total ticket price including fees and required refunds for a ticket if it would not ultimately grant admission to an event.
Downfalls of SB 23-060
Despite its benefits, Polis said the bill risked “upsetting the successful entertainment ecosystem in Colorado.”
He said the bill used ambiguous language that created loopholes and restricted the lawful transfer of tickets. The bill would have allowed “the prohibition on resale for tickets sold as part of a charitable event or for tickets offered in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Polis said he would have supported this if the intent was to “ensure that tickets that are donated to charities and are fully part of a charitable event are non-transferable.”
According to a press release from Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights, one of the loopholes in the bill “could have handed Ticketmaster, AXS and event venues the ability to cancel, revoke, or otherwise invalidate tickets they already sold for various reasons.”
The original draft was not designed to protect consumers, according to a Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights press release, and was changed by the Colorado House of Representatives to include “deceptive ticket holdbacks that involve tickets secretly not being made available when tickets go on sale to the public” as well as reporting illegal software bot usage to buy tickets. Those amendments were removed and that led to the veto of the bill.
Polis said the administration would revisit the topic in future legislative sessions.