The Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act promises to outlaw the software designed to buy hundreds or thousands of tickets at a time, and it’s one signature away from becoming law.
It’s designed to help people like Philippa Mylander, who thought she had it all figured out the day Green Day tickets went on sale.
“My daughter and I both sat in front of the computer watching the countdown,” said Mylander. “The very second it went on sale, we hit search, and right away there was nothing available.”
She’s not alone. Officials estimate fans of the popular Broadway show Hamilton so far have overpaid by more than 15 million dollars, because bots allow its users to buy in bulk, then turn for a profit.
“It’s really pretty simple,” said US Senator Richard Blumenthal in October 2016. “Basically, everybody should have a fair chance to buy tickets. No one should be permitted to jump ahead of the line before there even is a line, and then resell those tickets at hugely inflated prices.”
Blumenthal pushed Congress to vote for the BOTS Act for months, until it passed unanimously through both the House and the Senate. If signed by President Obama, the new law would make both the use and the creation of ticket bots illegal. Anyone in violation could face several thousand dollars in fines from the Federal Trade Commission.
As for the consumer, Mylander is excited her next ticket-buying experience will be better than her last, if the President comes around.
“I’d be thrilled,” said Mylander. “We love going to concerts.”