New Maryland Law Requires All-In Ticket Pricing and Bans ‘Speculative’ Secondary Ticketing Sales

Maryland governor signs secondary ticketing legislation into law
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Maryland governor signs secondary ticketing legislation into law
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Photo Credit: Terry Granger

Maryland Governor Wes Moore has signed the state’s comprehensive secondary ticketing legislation into law. The ticketing reform law will go into effect July 1.

Bill SB539 sponsored by Dawn Giles, bans the practice of speculative ticketing and makes resellers accountable for any speculative ticket sales on their platforms. The law carries a penalty of $10,000 for the first infraction and $25,000 for each subsequent infraction.

The bill is a state-level model for ticketing reform as it also bans the practice of hidden fees. All-in pricing must be included throughout the purchase process and the language of the bill codifies that tickets are a license and not property. It also directs the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office to conduct a review of ticketing market places—assessing reseller activity and observing ticketing prices across primary and secondary markets. The 10% cap on reseller pricing originally proposed by the bill was removed during the legislative process.

“In addition to Governor Moore, Senators Gile and Beidle, and Delegate Wilson, we’re grateful to Marylanders who spoke out and let their elected officials know that they want protection from parasitic scalpers who use acts of deception to gouge concert fans,” says Audrey Fix Schaefer, Communications Director of Merriweather Post Pavilion.

“Nearly 17,000 letters were sent by Marylanders to their state legislators, letting those in Annapolis know they want protection from the rampant deception and abuse that’s taking place now,” Schaefer continues. “We applaud the entire State legislature for this groundbreaking legislation, and we look forward to working with the Attorney General’s office to help ensure enforcement.”

Maryland is not the only state that has secondary ticketing and ticket transparency laws up for consideration. Minnesota passed its ‘Taylor Swift’ bill earlier this week, which outlaws the practice of speculative ticket pricing and requires all-in pricing—much like the Maryland bill.