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Repeal of 1949 ticket scalping law on its way to Pawlenty

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — A push to repeal Minnesota’s 58-year-old prohibition on ticket scalping overwhelmingly passed the state House Wednesday and now heads to Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

The House voted 124-8 for the bill, which was approved by the Senate back in February.

State law currently forbids selling tickets above their face value, on pain of up to 90 days in jail or fines of up to $1,000. The law was originally passed in 1949 and recodified in 1963, according to the Legislature’s Office of the Revisor of Statutes.

"This law is now unenforceable in the age of the Internet," said Rep. Chris DeLaForest, the bill’s House sponsor. "The Internet has made this commerce legal, and that’s what it should be, members. After all, we don’t talk about scalping real estate or artwork or stocks or bonds."

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Several representatives questioned how the repeal would affect consumers.

"Is this just going to open it up for big corporations or somebody with a lot of money to speculate on events that we all want to go to?" said Rep. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake.

DeLaForest said prices on some resold tickets could drop if there’s more competition. He said Minnesota is one of a dwindling number of states that still have laws against ticket scalping on the books, and Wisconsin has a robust ticket resale industry that caters to Twin Cities events.

If signed by Pawlenty, the repeal would go into effect Aug. 1.

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