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Massachusetts Law About Ticket Scalping

Massachusetts Laws

MGL c.140:


Ticket Resellers Application

Ticket Resellers Renewal Application

Selected Case Law

Commonwealth v. Santangelo, 25 Mass. App. Ct. 583 (1988). "General Laws c.140 § 185D, which prohibits resale of tickets to public amusements at a price above that printed on the ticket, plus a permissible profit and a defined "service charge," did not permit a reseller, as part of the service charge, to recoup from a buyer the amount he paid for the ticket in excess of the printed price."

Herman v. Admit One Ticket Agency, 454 Mass. 611 (2009). In order to establish standing, "a plaintiff must purchase a ticket to maintain a c. 93A claim premised on a violation of the policy embodied in [MGL c.140] § 185D."

Lainer v. City of Boston, 95 F.Supp.2d 17 (2000). The court issued an injunction prohibiting Boston Police from " attempting to arrest, threatening to arrest, arresting, and prosecuting any person who attempts to resell or resells any ticket to a Boston Red Sox baseball game in the vicinity of Fenway Park, at or below the face value of the ticket,unless they have probable cause, at the time of arrest, to believe that said person is a person engaged in the business of reselling tickets, and is not duly licensed as required by Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 185A."

NPS, LLC v. StubHub, Inc., 22 Mass.L.Rep. 717, 2007 Mass. Super. LEXIS 301, 2007 WL 2367748 (Mass.Super.), July 31, 2007. Superior Court order compelling "StubHub to produce documents that identify individuals who purchased or sold, or who offered to purchase or sell, tickets to Patriots' home football games using the StubHub website."

Opinion of the Justices to the Senate, 247 Mass. 589 (1924). An analysis of the purpose and limits of the ticket scalping law as it was first enacted.

Other Web Sources

Admit One Violated Ticket Anti-Scalping Law, Judge Rules, Boston Globe, September 18, 2007. Quincy District Court Judge "Coven ...ruled Admit One violated the "language and legislative intent of the existing law" by recouping the cost of acquiring the tickets it was reselling and by charging customers a membership fee equal to 15 percent of the sale price."

Anti-Scalping Law Invalid in Boston, Reseller Says, Boston Globe, February 5, 2006. "One of the state's largest ticket resellers says it is free to charge whatever it wants for tickets to events in Boston because the Massachusetts antiscalping law doesn't cover the capital city."

I went to Fenway Park the other day for a Red Sox game. My friend never made the game. Could I have resold his ticket? On his website (no longer extant), a former Mass. Attorney General said, "You can resell your extra tickets as long as you sell it for face value. The Attorney General's Office, the Department of Public Safety, and courts in Massachusetts have made it clear that the ticket-resale law in Massachusetts penalizes only those engaging in the business of reselling tickets. It is the occupation and not an isolated act which is forbidden."

Pro teams find a hot ticket in secondary market, Boston Globe, February 7, 2005. Teams are exploring their own methods for reselling their tickets. "The Red Sox and the Patriots have taken a very strong stance against fans reselling their tickets above face value. Both teams have revoked the tickets of season ticket holders who have been caught reselling tickets."

Scalping Law? What Scalping Law?, Boston Globe, October 15, 2006. Very lengthy article critical of enforcement of the scalping law in Massachusetts.

Ticket Resellers FAQ, Mass. Dept. of Public Safety. Questions and answers for current and potential ticket resellers.


Department of Public Safety
Ticket Resellers Division
One Ashburton Place Room 1301
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: (617) 727-3200
Toll Free: 1-800-223-0933