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Minnesota Senate Tackles Scalping

2007 February 19
by Phil Miller

This bill won’t make it to King’s list of silly bills: student Brian Rude notified me that the Minnesota senate has passed a bill to legalize scalping. A little blurb from the article:

Legalization “would probably hurt my business, but it’s a stupid law and it should be changed,” said Tom, a Westbrook, Minn., resident who has earned both a living and a criminal record in 10 years as a scalper.

…Repeal of the law may only increase the dominance of Internet sites such as eBay in brokering tickets, Tom said.

Reselling tickets is already legal in all but about a dozen states, Gerlach said, adding that he expects the prices that Minnesota fans pay middlemen for tickets would decline with legalization.

In neighboring Wisconsin, decriminalization has spawned a vibrant legal ticket brokerage industry that pays taxes instead of court fines, Gerlach said.

Legalization also directs tickets to those who value them the most. But what was the driving force for those who voted in favor of the bill: the efficiency of such a market or the potential for increased tax revenues?

Addendum: King has a great story.

My favorite is the purchase of a $75 seat cushion in front of Fenway, onto which two field box tickets were taped, because scalping in Massachusetts was illegal.

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