As a part of the USMTG's mission to create a national alliance of minority ticketing and entertainment event business owners, we advocate for laws that will reduce the disenfranchisement of minority business owners in the entertainment industry.

To accomplish our goal, USMTG has outlined 12 main discriminatory practices. We suggest banning each and offer alternative practices that will create a more equal entertainment industry for minorities and small business owners.

The USMTG is currently working on legislation in 22 states across the country.

Our Comprehensive Legislative Package

Transferability of Tickets

Paperless ticketing is the practice of selling tickets which are non-transferable to another consumer. Paperless ticketing occurs when a consumer buys a ticket and is only allowed entry to an event with an ID or credit card attached to the person who originally purchased the ticket. Consumers deserve to have the right to do whatever they wish with their ticket once it is purchased. We propose that a permanent ban be placed on selling paperless tickets exclusively to an event.

Transparency

The secondary market is blamed when event tickets sell out seemingly instantaneously and consumers are left confused without any options. This phenomenon is largely due to the entities that regulate admission to events. Those who operate places of entertainment often hold back 40-60% of tickets for promoters, artists, venues and VIP's to purchase or sell. Therefore, we propose a law disclosing the total number of tickets available and how many are available for the general public.

Standardize Disclosures

Current ticket resale laws hold standards for disclosures on the secondary market that the primary market does not need to meet. The secondary market is held accountable for disclosing the face value of a ticket and money back guarantees. We propose standardizing all disclosures for both the secondary and primary market, including transparency on the face value of a ticket, money back guarantees and displaying ticket prices.

Free & Equal Access to Internet Marketing

Google, StubHub and Ebay have raised advertising costs for small businesses by using private label marketing tools. It is unlawful for search engines to discriminate against small businesses by engaging in unfair practices designed to bias search content in favor of Internet content providers paying the highest advertising fees. We propose banning search engines from disadvantaging small businesses based solely on the ability to pay high advertising costs.

Ban URL Restrictions

Currently, there are restrictions on retailer's use of URL descriptors. This inhibits smaller businesses from using clear language to describe the event, artist or venue. By prohibiting retailers from properly and clearly marketing the tickets being sold, this bill disadvantages smaller ticketing business compared to larger competitors. In addition, it prohibits online advertising while harming consumer's ability to accurately search for tickets at fair prices. We propose allowing ticket resellers to fairly use descriptive language in order to advertise to the general public.

Ban Ticket Pricing Floors

Various teams have mandated that a ticket cannot be sold or resold below a minimum ticket price. Ultimately, this disallows sellers from lowering ticket prices, which in effect raises prices on the market and creates a restraint on free trade. We propose banning a minimum price on all tickets.

Genre Restrictions

Venues impose restrictions on ticket distribution on certain genres and not others. Operators of places of entertainment cannot selectively apply certain terms or conditions to one event and not others depending on the kind of event. This includes concerts, musical performances, theatre productions, sporting events and all other entertainment events. We propose banning venues from imposing restrictions on ticket distribution for certain genres.

License and Bond Fees

Several states, such as New Jersey and New York, have exorbitant licensing and bonding fees attached to annual applications for ticket resellers. These high costs are major barriers to smaller businesses and acts as a disincentive to smaller ticket resellers from registering within the state. We advocate that fees be reduced no more than $100.

Geographic Restrictions

In many states, ticket resellers cannot operate within a certain distance of a venue. These distances are arbitrary and do not protect consumers. The closer to the venue that a consumer is, the safer their purchases will be as they can check the legitimacy of a ticket at the venue. In addition, these laws are unfair to tax paying and registered ticket sellers, especially when many places of entertainment are funded by tax payers.

Exclusive Ticketing Contracts

Places of entertainment are often funded by tax payers and should be open for all brokers to participate with. Exclusive contracts between publicly funded venues and primary marketplaces restrict small businesses from doing business with the venue. This is especially unfair when the broker is a paying for that venue to operate through taxes. We propose restricting public funded venues and organizations from creating exclusive contracts with ticket sellers and resellers.

Third Party Sharing Agreements

Ticket sellers, such as Ticket Master, share customer information with the venue, team, artist, or league without consent from the customer. This breaches consumer privacy on every level. We propose that ticket sellers must have information sharing agreements with resellers, marketplaces and exchanges before sharing that information with third parties, including venues, artists, teams, leagues, etc.

Consumer Protection

Currently, ticket consumers cannot control how their personal information is being used by ticket resellers. Most commonly, the original consumer's name and other personal information is printed on the ticket. We propose that it is unlawful for the operator or ticketing service to print any personally identifiable information of a customer on a ticket to an event, unless the customer is able to remove or obscure the information on the ticket.

USMTG believes that this comprehensive legislative package will not only offer more opportunities to minorities in the entertainment industry, but also support our success.