August 15, 2012, Introduced by Rep. Cotter and referred to the Committee on Government Operations.
A bill to regulate the issuance and resale of tickets to
certain entertainment events; to provide consumer protections for
ticket purchasers; to prescribe powers and duties of certain state
governmental officers and agencies; to provide remedies; and to
provide for the promulgation of rules.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "event
Sec. 3. As used in this act:
(a) "Event" means a concert, theatrical performance, sporting
event, exhibition, show, or other similar scheduled activity held
in this state that meets all of the following:
(i) Is open to the general public.
(ii) An admission fee is charged to attend.
(iii) Is held in a venue that accommodates more than 1,000
(b) "Event ticket" means a physical, electronic, or other form
of a certificate, document, voucher, token, or other evidence
indicating that the bearer, possessor, or person entitled to
possession through purchase or otherwise meets any of the
(i) Has a revocable or irrevocable right, privilege, or license
to enter an event venue or occupy a particular seat or area in an
event venue for 1 or more events.
(ii) Is entitled to purchase a right, privilege, or license
described in subparagraph (i) for 1 or more future events.
(c) "Person" means an individual, corporation, limited
liability company, partnership, association, or other legal entity.
(d) "Resale" means any form of sale or other transfer of, or
offer to sell or transfer, possession or entitlement to possession
of an event ticket from 1 person to another, with or without
consideration, whether in person or by means of telephone, mail,
delivery service, facsimile, internet, email, or other electronic
means. The term does not include the initial sale of an event
ticket by the ticket issuer.
(e) "Ticket issuer" means a person that makes event tickets
available, directly or indirectly, for initial sale to the general
public. The term does not include a person that is involved in or
facilitates event ticket resales. The term may include any of the
following if the person makes event tickets available for initial
sale to the general public:
(i) The operator of a venue.
(ii) The sponsor or promoter of an event.
(iii) A sports team participating in an event or a league whose
teams are participating in an event.
(iv) A theater company, musical group, or similar participant
in an event.
(v) An agent of a person described in subparagraphs (i) to (iv).
(f) "Venue" means any public or nonpublic theater, stadium,
field, hall, or other facility where an event takes place.
Sec. 5. Except as otherwise provided in this act, a ticket
issuer shall not prohibit or restrict the resale or offering for
resale of an event ticket by any person that lawfully possesses
that ticket, including, but not limited to, engaging in any of the
(a) Purporting to impose license or contractual terms on the
initial sale of an event ticket, including, but not limited to,
terms printed on the back of a physical event ticket, that prohibit
resale or free transfer of the ticket or that restrict the price or
other terms and conditions under which the ticket may be resold or
used by a person other than the original purchaser.
(b) Requiring the purchaser of an event ticket, whether for a
single event or for a series or season of events, to agree not to
resell the ticket or to resell the ticket only through a specific
channel approved by the ticket issuer.
(c) Bringing legal action based on an unlawful prohibition or
restriction on resale of an event ticket against any of the
(i) A purchaser that resells or offers to resell an event
ticket without permission of the ticket issuer or in violation of a
restriction purportedly imposed by the ticket issuer.
(ii) A person that facilitates or provides services for the
resale of event tickets without permission of the ticket issuer or
in violation of a restriction purportedly imposed by the ticket
(iii) An operator of a physical or electronic marketplace where
event tickets are offered for resale without permission of the
ticket issuer or in violation of a restriction purportedly imposed
by the ticket issuer.
(d) Imposing a penalty on a ticket purchaser that resells or
offers to resell an event ticket without permission or in violation
of a restriction purportedly imposed by the ticket issuer, or
treating that purchaser in any material way less favorably than a
similarly situated purchaser that does not resell or offer to
resell an event ticket or that complies with resale restrictions
purportedly imposed by the ticket issuer.
(e) Employing technological means for the purpose or with the
foreseeable effect of prohibiting or restricting the resale of
event tickets, including, but not limited to, issuing event tickets
in an electronic form that is not readily transferable to a
subsequent purchaser, or conditioning entry into the venue on
presentation of a token, such as the original purchaser's credit
card or state-issued identification card, that cannot be readily
transferred to a subsequent purchaser.
(f) Requiring that the purchaser of an event ticket pick up
the event ticket from a box office or "will call" window in advance
(g) Seeking to limit or restrict the price, or to impose a
minimum or maximum price, at which an event ticket may be resold.
Sec. 7. (1) A person engaged in any trade or business
described in subsection (2) shall not engage in the primary or
secondary market for event ticket sales if that person does not do
all of the following:
(a) Maintain a toll-free telephone number for complaints and
inquiries regarding its activities in the sale or resale of event
(b) Subject to subsection (4), implement and reasonably
publicize a standard refund policy that meets the following minimum
(i) It provides a consumer who purchases an event ticket a full
refund if any of the following occur:
(A) The event is canceled before the scheduled occurrence of
the event and is not rescheduled.
(B) The event ticket received by the purchaser is counterfeit.
(C) The event ticket is canceled by the ticket issuer for
nonpayment by the original purchaser or for any reason other than
an act or omission of the consumer.
(D) The event ticket materially and to the detriment of the
consumer fails to conform to the description provided by the seller
(E) The event ticket is not delivered to the consumer before
the occurrence of the event, unless the failure of delivery is due
to an act or omission of the consumer.
(ii) It provides that a consumer entitled to a full refund
shall receive the full price paid by the consumer for the event
ticket and any fees charged in connection with that purchase,
including, but not limited to, convenience fees, processing fees,
at-home printing charges, shipping and handling charges, or
(2) Subsection (1) applies to a person engaged in any of the
following as a trade or business:
(a) Acting as a ticket issuer.
(b) Subject to subsection (3), engaging in the resale of event
tickets. However, if a person described in this subdivision only
resells event tickets in a physical or electronic marketplace that
fully complies with this section, the person is not required to
comply with subsection (1).
(c) Providing a physical or electronic marketplace for the
sale or resale of event tickets by other persons.
(3) An individual that does not resell more than 80 event
tickets in any 12-month period is not considered to be engaged in
the trade or business of reselling event tickets for purposes of
(4) A person subject to this section may include any of the
following in the standard refund policy required under subsection
(a) That entitlement to a refund is conditioned on the timely
return of the event ticket purchased.
(b) Reasonable safeguards against abuse of the policy.
(5) This section does not prohibit any person subject to this
section from implementing any consumer protection practices in
addition to those described in subsection (1) if those practices
otherwise comply with this act.
Sec. 9. (1) The attorney general may bring a civil action for
any violation of this act. In an action described in this section
to enforce this act, the attorney general may pursue that action in
the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction,
powers, and duties, as apply to the attorney general in his or her
enforcement of the Michigan consumer protection act, 1976 PA 331,
MCL 445.901 to 445.922, including, but not limited to, any of the
(a) To bring an action for a temporary or permanent injunction
in the manner provided in section 5 of the Michigan consumer
protection act, 1976 PA 331, MCL 445.905, together with costs and
reasonable attorney fees.
(b) To apply for the issuance of subpoenas in the manner
provided in sections 7 and 8 of the Michigan consumer protection
act, 1976 PA 331, MCL 445.907 and 445.908.
(c) To bring a class action in the manner provided in section
10 of the Michigan consumer protection act, 1976 PA 331, MCL
(2) All of the following apply to a class action described in
(a) Subject to subdivision (b), the attorney general may
recover either of the following, whichever is greater, together
with costs and reasonable attorney fees:
(i) The actual damages suffered by the residents of this state.
(ii) An amount equal to $100.00 for each event ticket sold,
resold, or offered for sale or resale in violation of this act,
subject to a maximum of $100,000.00 with respect to all of the
violations related to any single event.
(b) The court may increase a damage award against a defendant
to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount otherwise
available under subdivision (a) if in a prior civil action the
defendant was found to have violated this act.
(3) For purposes of bringing a civil action under subsection
(1), this section does not prevent the attorney general from
exercising any powers given to the attorney general by any other
law of this state to conduct investigations, administer oaths or
affirmations, or compel the attendance of witnesses or the
production of documentary and other evidence.
(4) The attorney general may not bring a civil action under
this section more than 2 years after the date of the violation that
is the subject of the action.
Sec. 11. (1) A political subdivision of this state shall not
adopt or enforce any ordinance or other regulation that purports to
do any of the following:
(a) Limit the price at which an event ticket may be resold.
(b) Impose any other restriction on the resale of event
tickets inconsistent with this act.
(c) Permit any action prohibited by this act.
(2) This act supersedes and preempts any ordinance or other
regulation of any political subdivision of this state that purports
to do any of the following:
(a) Limit the price at which an event ticket may be resold.
(b) Impose any other restriction on the resale of event
tickets inconsistent with this act, or that purports to permit any
action prohibited by this act, but only to the extent of that
(3) This act does not limit or otherwise impair the
jurisdiction or powers of any department, agency, officer, or
political subdivision of this state to enforce any law, rule,
regulation, code, or ordinance that does any of the following:
(a) Regulates or prohibits the sale or resale of event tickets
based on proximity of the location of the sale to the location of a
(b) Regulates or prohibits the sale or resale of event tickets
in a manner that constitutes disorderly conduct or breach of the
(c) Empowers the operator of a venue or its agent to deny
admission to any person, or to eject any person from an event, in
order to preserve public safety or order or to prevent or restrict
the admission of minors.
(d) Prohibits fraud, deception, or similar practices in
connection with the sale or resale of event tickets or prohibits
the sale or resale of counterfeit tickets.
(e) Treats an event ticket as a license for any purpose other
than the prohibition or restriction of resale.
(f) Regulates the initial sale of event tickets by limiting
the number of event tickets that a person may purchase from a
(g) Prohibits the intentional circumvention of technological
means employed by ticket issuers to enforce limitations on the
number of event tickets that a person may purchase from a ticket
issuer, or the sale or distribution of devices, computer programs,
or other tools for the purpose of an intention circumvention
described in this subdivision.
Sec. 13. This act does not apply to restrictions on the resale
of event tickets imposed by any of the following:
(a) A sponsor or promoter of an event intended solely to
benefit charitable endeavors, for which all tickets are distributed
free of charge.
(b) A not-for-profit educational institution, with respect to
athletic events involving athletes or teams of that institution, to
the extent that resale restrictions apply to tickets initially
distributed by the institution to any of the following:
(i) Students, faculty, staff members, or alumni without charge.
(ii) Members of a bona fide booster organization that consists
of those making substantial financial contributions to the
Sec. 15. The attorney general may promulgate rules under the
administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to
24.328, to implement and administer this act. Rules promulgated
under this section may include any of the following:
(a) Defining categories of persons otherwise subject to this
act that are temporarily or indefinitely excluded from its
provisions, or against which the department of attorney general
determines it will not enforce this act in whole or in part, if the
attorney general determines that the activities of those persons
otherwise subject to this act have a relatively insignificant
impact on commerce in event tickets.
(b) Any other reasonable rules the attorney general determines
are necessary to implement and administer this act.
Enacting section 1. This act takes effect 90 days after the
date it is enacted into law.
Enacting section 2. This act does not take effect unless
Senate Bill No. ______ or House Bill No. 5827(request no.
01478'11 a **) of the 96th Legislature is enacted into law.