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Should The State Of Michigan Legalize Ticket Scalping?

Joseph L. Harris, Flickr

Selling tickets above face value is illegal in Michigan, unless the seller has an agreement with the venue or the organizers of the event.

A bill in the Michigan House would change that and make scalping tickets legal.

House Bill 5108 was proposed by Tim Kelly of Saginaw Township (Republican).

Kelly explains his proposal at

He says it’s a common-sense measure that would let the free market decide the price of a ticket.

Kelly says there’s no reason for the government to interfere in a transaction between a willing buyer and willing seller. The legislation now goes to a House committee for consideration.

One of the biggest risks of buying scalped tickets is counterfeiting. It can be difficult to tell whether a ticket being sold on the street is authentic or not.

If you do get stuck with a counterfeit ticket purchased on the street the chances of getting your money back are just about nonexistent.

Protecting consumers against this risk is one of the arguments against this bill.

Why not let potential tickets purchasers decide for themselves whether or not they are willing to take that risk while simultaneously giving ticket holders a simple way to sell their tickets without involving a third party?

If these same resale laws were applied to all other purchases there would be no garage sales. Only garage sales which have been authorized by the original producers of all of the items up for sale.

It makes sense to allow ticket purchasers to resell their tickets as they choose.

When and if this law does take effect, don’t expect ticket sellers to continue business as usual. We’ve already gotten a glimpse of what might be on the way…restricted tickets.

Restricted tickets may only be used by those who bought them. A photo ID and/or original credit card are required for entry.

It would be like purchasing a plane ticket. Once you buy it, you own it. If you can’t use it, you lose it.

Ticket sellers might make more money selling “event insurance” with restricted tickets.

If you would like to see ticket scalping legalized, it could be on the way, but don’t expect that to be the last change we see.

Follow Matt Milhouse on Facebook and Twitter.  Listen to 100.5 The River weekdays, 10am – 3pm.

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