Sen. Chuck Schumer has launched a new effort to convince federal lawmakers to pass legislation cracking down on ticket scalpers who use online bots to purchase thousands of tickets that are then resold at heavily increased prices.
On Sunday, Schumer, standing alongside “Hamilton” creator and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda, announced his effort to back a federal proposal called the Better Online Ticket Sales Act of 2016, or BOTS Act, which aimed to prevent the use of online bots by ticket-buyers to circumvent rules meant to allow concertgoers a fair chance to buy tickets, the senator stated.
"It's plain and simple, we need to sweep the stage of bots so that actual fans can enjoy ‘Hamilton,’ other hit Broadway shows and major concerts," Schumer stated. "Hackers and other bad actors are taking advantage of fans, and we need to put a stop to it."
Bots are computer programs that purchase thousands of event tickets in a matter of seconds, leaving customers no choice but to make purchases at secondary ticket markets, which have increased prices, Schumer explained. Between 2012 and 2014, three ticket scalpers in the New York area bought more than 140,000 tickets using bots, and Ticketmaster has estimated that bots may purchase a full 60 percent of online tickets.
"My concern is that our show is about the founding of our country, and if bots are buying up all the tickets and charging this insane secondary market price, most of the country can’t see it," Miranda told the New York Post.
The BOTS Act would impose large fines on users of bot software and "put them out of business," Schumer said in the Post.