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Is Ticket Scalping Illegal?

Ticket Scalping is defined as the reselling of event tickets by private individuals for a price that is usually twice or thrice more than the original value of the ticket. Also called ticket resale, ticket scalping is usually done during concerts or sports events, and on the day of the event itself. A scalper, the private individual who originally bought the ticket and is reselling it for a marked up price, is found outside the event location.

Laws do not necessarily prohibit ticket scalping, but the legality of the act varies among states and municipalities. If ticket scalping is considered illegal, it is often difficult for law enforcement officers to charge and prosecute an individual guilty of the offense since the crime involves no victim. A transaction between a ticket scalper and a client is one that is agreed to by both parties, ergo no actual victim exists. However, there are extreme and severe cases of ticket scalping that may lead to actual punishment of the scalper.

Some states consider ticket scalping to be a legal business and issue permits and licenses to these private individuals or enterprises. Such individuals or enterprises may exist in the form of an actual scalper or an online business that provides individuals to purchase tickets when the official event organization runs out of tickets to sell. However, no such laws regulate the price at which these individuals or enterprises sell their tickets. Therefore, there is a large difference in price value between an original ticket seller versus a scalper.

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