Efforts underway to stop speculative ticketing in Pa.

person holding tickets
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania could soon join several other states in banning a controversial but lucrative ticket scalping technique.

Speculative ticketing is when someone posts tickets before they actually have them, according to Western Pa. Democrat Robert Matzie, who has introduced a bill to ban it. They then use the money they get from unsuspecting buyers to try and scoop up as many tickets as possible.

“This is, in my opinion, not only deceitful, but it is inherently unfair to fans and consumers,” he said.

Matzie says the sellers often spoof websites to look like the venue or official ticket seller and game search engines to show up first, leading buyers to think they’re getting an inside track at hard-to-get tickets, only to find out the tickets may not actually exist.

If they’re unable to get the promised tickets, they cancel the order, often last minute. Kerri Park with World Café Live in Philadelphia says speculative ticketing is a major headache for venues and artists, as they’re often the ones who have to explain to someone why they don’t have a ticket.

“I have personally, you know, handed a tissue and dried tears and been like, ‘Listen, we're gonna figure this out, we're in it together.’”

“They can't figure out why anyone is allowed to do this. How can it be okay for you to sell something that you don't have?”

Lake says venues and artists can’t compete with the technology used by ticket speculators and a legislative fix is the only answer.

Congress recently passed a law addressing secondary ticket markets but a ban on speculative ticketing was removed before it passed.

Secondary ticket websites like SeatGeek and VividSeats say only pre-approved or professional sellers can list speculative tickets. StubHub says it does not allow speculative ticketing and anyone caught doing it could face fines or a ban from the site.

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