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Lin-Manuel Miranda, Schumer fight online ticket bot scams

Lin-Manuel Miranda speaks, as Sen. Charles Schumer looks

Lin-Manuel Miranda speaks, as Sen. Charles Schumer looks on, during a press conference at Sardi's on West 44th Street to announce Federal legislation to address cyber-scalping, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

“Hamilton” star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda urged Congress Sunday to pass legislation that would ensure that ticket goers across the nation will have their shot at seeing some of the best Broadway shows.

The mastermind behind the Tony-Award winning hit joined U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and the Broadway League to discuss the ongoing problem of cyber scalpers, or bots, that jack up the price of shows that cost $189 to as much as $2,000 a piece on the resale market.

“My concern is that the show is about the founding of our country, and if bots are buying up all of the tickets and charging this insane secondary price, most of the country can’t see it.” Miranda said. “The goal is to just level the playing field.”

Schumer said the scalpers have become more sophisticated in their scams and now have programs that can buy hundreds of tickets in seconds with the touch of a button.

The increased resale value hurts the theater owners, musicians and other show business employees, just as much as it does to the public, according to the senator.

“Everyone is complaining about these bots,” he said.

Schumer said he and other senators from across the aisle will introduce the “Better Online Ticket Sales Act of 2016,” or BOTS Act, which would track down the scalpers and hit them with a $16,000 fine.

“The good news if we were to pass this law they could find these guys and put them out of business,” he said.

New York has a similar law in effect but it can only fine bot sales that take place in the state. Miranda said the New York law has helped to crack down on the online scams and hoped Congress can bring that help to theaters across the nation.

“You shouldn’t have to fight robots to go see a famous play,” he said.


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