Kansas Senator Calls Hearing to Fight Ticket Scalping 'Bots'

Will focus on legislation designed to crack down on bulk ticket buying

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, center, is sponsoring legislation designed to stop automated bots from stockpiling tickets, the subject of next week's hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan effort to keep ticket scalpers from scooping up the best seats at sporting events, concerts and Broadway shows will get its biggest boost yet on Capitol Hill next week.

Sen. Jerry Moran, who is sponsoring legislation designed to stop automated bots from stockpiling tickets, is set to convene a hearing next week, the Kansas Republican said in a statement provided to Roll Call on Tuesday.

Moran's Commerce subcommittee, which handles consumer protection policy issues, is scheduled to meet Sept. 13.

"Scalpers have long been driving up ticket prices and harming consumers, but their methods are becoming increasingly sophisticated," Moran said. "It's hard enough to get tickets to high-profile events without the added struggle of having to battle bots online."

The effort has a few prominent backers. The lead Democratic co-sponsor, Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, previously joined with "Hamilton" creator and longtime star Lin-Manuel Miranda to push the bill. And while no witnesses have been announced, next week's Senate hearing may attract star power of its own.

Schumer promoted the legislation last month during an appearance on NBC's "Late Night With Seth Myers."

"Scalpers siphon off nearly $5 billion in concert ticket revenue every year, hurting people across the music ecosystem — from fans and artists, to their local concert venues and promoters," Katie Peters, the public policy chief at Pandora-Ticketfly, said in a statement. "We applaud Sen. Moran for introducing this legislation to make sure those who create and take part in amazing events are properly rewarded."

Contact Lesniewski at NielsLesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski.

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