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New York is throwing a wrench into the robots used by ticket scalpers.
Governor Andrew Cuomo today signed a bill criminalizing using "ticket bots" that quickly snatch up seats for popular shows and then resell them for a massive markup. It's now a class A misdemeanor for using or controlling "bots," and reselling tickets knowingly obtained through ticket bots.
“These unscrupulous speculators and their underhanded tactics have manipulated the marketplace and often leave New Yorkers and visitors alike with little choice but to buy tickets on the secondary market at an exorbitant mark-up,” Governor Cuomo said in a press release. "It’s predatory, it’s wrong."
The National Association of Ticket Brokers' commended the legislation, saying in a statement that "people should not be competing with ticket-hoarding software to make a purchase."
The ticket bot issue received heightened attention after tickets for the popular theater show Hamilton sold out only to be found on reseller sites for thousands of dollars. The show altered its sale practices and offered lotteries to try to decrease the scalpers' profits.
In a fiery NYT opinion piece its star and author Lin-Manuel Miranda said that with the millions they stood to gain resellers "happily risk prosecution and treat civil penalties as the cost of business."
To that punishment you can now add an encore: jail time.