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Michigan Considering Legalized Ticket Scalping

Jamie Squire, Getty Images

Michigan lawmakers are considering a measure aimed at repealing a 1940’s law that makes scalping tickets illegal. The State Senate Government Operations Committee is schedule to meet this week to discuss legalizing ticket scalping, which most artists and concert venues consider to be a underhanded and unfair practice.

Supporters argue that individuals should have the right to profit from selling their tickets, but opposing forces disagree, saying that legalized ticket scalping will put the squeeze on concert and sporting events because more fans will be gouged on ticket sales.

Several artists, including Tom Waits and Michigan’s own Kid Rock are part of the opposition on this issue. “Lawmakers look at this bill thinking that it will be good for the free market and that one less law means smaller government,” Rock wrote in an editorial for the Detroit Free Press. “All this bill does is take away one measly law that venues have to protect artists and fans from scalpers who want to get rich off the backs of the working man.”

Venue owners agree, and believe legalized scalping would allow individuals and organizations to capitalize on something that should have a fair market value. “It will allow these organizations to come in and buy up all of the tickets, and make it impossible for the fans to get tickets for the price that the artists sets,” Richard Haddad, with the Palace told WKZO. “The end result is that fans will have the option of getting gouged on tickets or not going to the events at all, and that’s not good for anybody. That’s not good for our business, and that’s not good for the state of Michigan.”

Lawmakers are scheduled to meet with the Michigan Sports and Entertainment Coalition sometime today.

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