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NY Governor Cuomo signs bill outlawing online scalpers

Software used to game online ticket sale systems is now illegal in the Empire State.

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Getting tickets to Beyoncé and Hamilton is already hard enough but it can be nearly impossible if you're competing against the automated purchasers used by 21st century scalpers. These so-called "ticket bots" are specifically designed to get around the strict per-customer purchase limits on sites like TicketMaster and LiveNation, allowing a small handful of individuals to buy a lion's share of a show and then offer them on the resale market for a massive profit. But that's no longer the case in New York where, governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation banning these robots.

"It's predatory," Governor Cuomo said at a press conference yesterday. "It's wrong and, with this legislation, we are taking an important step towards restoring fairness and equity back to this multi-billion dollar industry."

The new law opens up the definition of what constitutes a "ticket bot" to include basically any automated system used to quickly amass legally sold tickets. Using a ticket bot -- even just maintaining a financial interest in the botnet -- will now constitute a Class A misdemeanor, subject to fines and imprisonment. What's more, it is now also illegal to resell tickets, even if they're sold for face value, if you know that they were obtained using one of these systems. It will be interesting to see how this law is enforced and whether other states follow New York's lead.

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