Banning Online Ticket Bots

President Obama signed the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act into law, making it a federal offense to use computer software to buy event tickets online. 

We’ve all been there… the exact second tickets for your favorite band go on sale, you try to grab seats as close to the front as possible, but somehow, half the tickets are already gone. How could half an arena be sold out after 10 seconds?! The answer is ticket bots... computer technology able to buy thousands of tickets within seconds. Scalpers use bots to scoop up a ton of tickets and sell them online via third-party sites for a profit, but it’s now been deemed a federal crime. 

The BOTS Act was passed by the United States Senate last month and the House of Representatives last week. Government reps in both branches agreed using bots to buy tickets is “an unfair and deceptive practice” and in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. 

The government can now intervene and file suits for individuals who were unable to purchase tickets due to bot intervention. The actual legislation reads, “The ‘Better Online Ticket Sales Act of 2016’ or the ‘BOTS Act of 2016,’ which prohibits the circumvention of control measures used by Internet ticket sellers to ensure equitable consumer access to tickets for certain events.

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