As the reality of Donald Trump’s impending presidency continues to unfortunately settle in, so does the fact that the United States is weeks away from losing perhaps its most suave and levelheaded Commander-in-Chief of all-time. As President Barack Obama prepares to depart the White House, he has spent his time coming out in support of cannabis decriminalization and even dropped a POTUS playlist filled with that hot fire.
Now, the President’s evident love for music has shown itself once again, this time in the form of legislation that will prevent scalpers from using bots to purchase large quantities of tickets. Yesterday, President Obama signed The Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act into law. A statement released from the White House states that the legislation “prohibits the circumvention of control measures used by Internet ticket sellers to ensure equitable consumer access to tickets for certain events.”
The act follows in the steps of a similar law passed in New York by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November, which makes using bots for scalping purposes punishable by fine and even by prison time in some cases. The BOTS Act had already been approved by the House of Representatives and Senate, giving Obama the go-ahead to sign the legislation into law.
Shortly after the measure was approved, Ticketmaster (unsurprisingly) publicly praised the BOTS Act, and even claimed that they worked closely with legislators to help develop the newly implemented federal law. “On behalf of artists, venues, teams, and especially fans, Ticketmaster is pleased that the BOTS Act is now a federal law,” the company said in a statement.
The act is a major victory for anyone who has ever pounded the refresh button on Ticketmaster only to discover that all the concert tickets you’d been waiting to purchase had been nabbed in the blink of an eye by scalpers using bots. This often resulted in obscenely high ticket prices on reseller platforms like StubHub, leaving real fans the difficult choice of either emptying their wallets or missing the show. But now, with the BOTS Act officially in full effect, these scalpers are considered criminals in the eyes of the law.